I love this time of the year. It is full of holiday cheers, decorations, colorful lights, songs, Christmas trees, and most importantly holiday spirit. There is so much to look forward to, holiday gatherings, reconnecting with friends and family, helping those in need, perhaps volunteering and making a difference. Seems like the holidays are for enjoying, giving and celebrating - however, it becomes a burden, full of stress for us. Overspending, extra time at work to meet deadlines and catch up with other responsibilities add to the stress level. Research showed that the top stressors of the holiday are money and falling off healthy habits. Sound familiar? Let’s think of some ways to make this a better experience.
1. Meditate- Meditation is a practice that will keep you sane through any stressful situation. It’s important that you meditate once a day for 20 minutes. Meditation helps re-wire your brain, create space between your thoughts to become more productive. It helps you stay present and create peace. It also promotes relaxation, reduces stress, improves concentration, and self-awareness. It does not require money, just desire, and 20 minutes of your day to turn things around.
2. Healthy balance- Holiday times are challenging to balance. We need to plan. First ask yourself - what isn’t serving you? What doesn’t need to be in your life at this time of the year? What can you eliminate to open up time? Once you identified them get rid of them and use that time for holiday related chores. Drink plenty of water, make healthy food choices as much as possible. In the event that you are not able to keep up with your exercise, schedule a walk or use YouTube videos for 15 minute workouts instead of not working out at all.
3. Gratitude- Be grateful every day. Gratitude is a powerful practice that cultivates emotional and physical well-being. It helps to overcome negative emotions caused by stress and draw positive energy to your life. In addition, gratitude makes us mentally strong, improves sleep, self-esteem and help us become more forgiving.
4. Meaningful gift giving- Shopping for gifts is the most stressful part of the holidays. First, set a budget and stick to it to keep the stress level low. Make your gifts meaningful rather than expensive. Personalize the gifts, get creative, give something you can make that has sentimental value. Give experience instead of objects.
Keep in mind it is always possible to have peace and harmony. I wish you and your family happy holidays. What is stressing you right now? Comment below.
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