It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and somehow, one of the most stressful. With family commitments, financial pressure, and a flurry of unhealthy eats, the holidays can bring about more stress than any other time of year. But who said it had to be that way? One of the best ways to tackle the holidays is with mindfulness. Being mindful means being aware in each and every moment and not fixating on the things we cannot control. What better time of year to test this idea than during the holidays?
At UMA, we’ve got your back. We made a list (and checked it twice) of our best tricks to not only mindfully get through the holidays but to actually enjoy them. Cheers to that!
1. Be Present
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday planning and commitments. This year, try unplugging and allowing yourself some time to just be. Try turning off technology for a day or spending time alone with a book by the fire. Focus on what is most important to you this holiday season and simply meditate on the joy that this season brings.
Practicing breathing techniques is an easy way to slow us down and bring a sense of calm during the mad rush of the holiday season. Find a quiet place all to yourself and simply sit and breathe. Breathwork and meditation are some of the simplest ways to hit the reset button and let go of holiday stress. Check out two popular breathing techniques below to help you get started!
3. Let it Go
There can be a overwhelming amount of pressure for perfection during the holidays. It is important to remember that we can’t control everything and sometimes it is better to let things go. Release what you cannot control and focus on bringing more joy into your life. Start by simply releasing yourself from one commitment that isn’t serving you and watch the holiday blues melt away. Try our Pure Bliss and Pure Calm wellness oils to help you focus and release built up stress. They make great gifts!
4. Only Love
In our society it is easy to get caught up in the consumer-driven side of the holidays. It is important to focus back on the actual reason for the season. When we look around at all of our loved ones, we allow ourselves to focus in on what is important. Enjoy spending time with family and friends and practice gratitude for all the gifts you already have. We can practice gratitude simply by thanking the universe for all of the gifts we already have. Try writing down 10 things a day that you’re grateful for. You’ll slowly start to let go of unnecessary stress and focus on the love that surrounds the holidays.
5. Get Moving
One of the best ways to beat holiday stress is to boost your endorphins with exercise. Anything to get your heart rate up is sure to help banish stress. Going for a walk outdoors will allow you to slow down and notice the simple things. The sound of snow crunching under your boots, the smell of fresh evergreens, and the crisp feeling in the air. Taking a yoga class can also lift your spirits and help you tap into the present moment. Yoga moves your body in a way that helps still the spinning mind. If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to get to the gym, try taking a friend. Having a friend keeps you accountable for getting the workout done. Plus, it’s more fun with a buddy!
6. Reach Out
It is important to remember that we don’t have to do anything alone. One of the best parts of the holiday season is bringing together everyone you love. Reach out and ask a friend or family member for help during the holiday season. Chances are they’ll appreciate the opportunity just as much as you will. Managing your emotions during this season can also be a huge help. The first thing you need to is recognize what you’re feeling. Once you can recognize the emotions you’re feeling you can try and figure out why you feel that way. It is easy to blow things out of proportion during this time of year so focus on keeping calm and reaching out for help when you need to.
7. Eat Real Food
During the holiday season it is easy for your healthy lifestyle to get waylaid by gingersnap cookies and eggnog. For most people, packing on extra weight during the holidays packs on extra stress as well. We can be mindful about what we eat by making sure we stick to a healthy lifestyle to the best of our ability. Eat some greens (and no, Christmas tree-shaped cookies don’t count), watch the booze, and stop when you’re full. But don’t forget to let yourself indulge just a little. That’s what life's all about.
One of the biggest stressors of the holidays can be the financial strain and pressure of gift giving and party planning. This year try setting a budget for your holiday plans and stick to it the best you can. You can set a budget for everything from gift giving to food purchasing. You can also try to get creative with your gifting and repurposes items or make them yourself. Everyone loves the sentiment of a homemade gift so hop on Pinterest and get planning!
With a few of these tips and tricks you'll be able to let go of holiday stress and relish in all of the season’s merriment and cheer!