Worries over the pandemic can feel overwhelming. Especially since this is supposed to be a “happy” time of year, what to do if you feel unhappy and depleted? Although the holidays may feel different at this time, it is possible to find some peace and even joy.
During this time of year, many of us feel stressed. According to a survey in Consumer Reports, here are the top “Holiday Stressors”: crowds and long lines, gaining extra weight, getting into debt, gift buying, and seeing certain relatives. While stress may seem unavoidable, you can change your response to these stressors with a few simple mindful and meditation tips.
Here are a few tips for coping with stress during the holiday season this year.
It’s okay to feel your feelings. Perhaps you have lost someone close to you or you can’t be with your friends and loved ones. Realize that it is normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings, even the uncomfortable ones. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
Reach out to your community. If you feel lonely, seek out contact with your community or religious groups. Many may have websites, online support groups, social media sites or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship.
Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. Even though your holiday plans may look and feel different this year, find creative ways to celebrate.
Release expectations. Let go of buying the perfect gift, or decorating the perfect house. We are a blend of perfection and imperfection. Appreciate the meaning of the holidays, and be grateful for the beauty of family and friends. These are true gifts!
Take mindful breaths. When feeling stressed, stop and take a breath. Notice the present moment. Take 4 deep cleansing breaths, hold for a count of four and exhale on a count of four. You will become more present. You can do this anywhere. Waiting in long lines or at a holiday gathering. Remember to just stop and take a breath. This is a small way to stay mindful.
Meditate or do Guided Imagery during this time. Sometimes it can be peaceful spending some time alone, relaxing to music. Or Meditate on the words, “I am calm. I am relaxed.” Remember your own self-care during the holidays! See below my “Stress Buster” Guided Imagery program–perfect during the holidays or anytime! Please share with family and friends!
Enjoy the holidays and give the gift of wellness!
Vicki Atlas Israel, CGIP
Your Mindset and Meditation Coach
PS: We’re excited to say the Inner Peace Time app will be launching in January! Learn More and grab your free gift.