Many of us look forward to the holiday season, anticipating a time filled with joy and happiness but, in reality, it can be really stressful. And this year has its own unique challenges, such as not being able to travel or see family in the same way that we could before. Where we all wish for a holiday filled with love, sometimes it can be peppered with frustration, stress and agitation. If it’s all getting a bit too much, don’t worry. Below are 7 tips to help you enjoy the festivities feeling cool, calm and collected.
There is a reason why Santa Claus makes a list and checks it twice, because he has a lot to do around the holidays! Keep a notepad and pen by your bed. Use the front of the book to make lists of things you need to do, buy, send and make. If you find it hard to sleep during the holidays, because your mind is whirring with things you need to remember to do, then you’ll have your notepad at hand to jot anything down. This enables you to get things out of your head, so you can sleep without fear that you’ll forget something important.
Then use the back of the notepad to journal your way through the holidays. Putting your thoughts down on paper, whether they are current or reflective, helps you to look at things with fresh eyes. Journaling is a powerful way to realise your concerns and prioritise them, plus studies have found journaling reduces stress and helps with problem solving.
Keep The Ritual of Jing Pillow Mist by your bed. Spritz it before you go to sleep and the calming lavender scent will help you drift off.
Schedule Time for You
Okay, our social calendars may not be as busy this year but it’s still important to factor in time for you. Where the festive season is usually a blur of parties and gatherings, this year will be a challenge in its own way. You may be missing family or friends at this time of year or longing for traditions like office parties and carol concerts that may not be happening. Acknowledge those feelings, be kind to yourself, and do something you love. For instance, if you love taking baths make the time to indulge - light candles and fill the tub with your favourite bath foam and relax.
Getting outside is also a great way to lift your mood, head to your local park or seaside, and breathe in that fresh air!
Give People Space
This year, a fair number of us have probably spent more time than ever at home with friends or family, so as 2020 comes to an end remember that it’s important to respect each other’s boundaries. If someone wants to go out for a walk on their own or wants to spend the evening reading their new book, that’s okay! The holiday season can be intense, but by giving each other space it means that when you do come together around the dinner table or for a game of charades, you’ll enjoy it even more.
On the flipside, if you have friends or family that live alone reach out to them on the phone during the festive season and take the time to catch up.
During the holidays it’s easy to get swept up in feelings of envy, perhaps a longing for a big family Christmas or being able to afford luxury presents like your friend. That is why the lead up to the holidays is the ideal time to practice gratitude, to think about the moments of happiness we had this year amongst the chaos, as well as the people and things we have in our lives that we cherish. Try listening to this gratitude meditation throughout the holidays to keep you grounded in the moment and thankful for all you have in your life.
Don’t Worry About Perfection
Perfect is the enemy of good. We can all strive for the perfect holiday but that’s putting a lot of pressure and expectation on yourself, your family and your friends. Back in August, our happiness ambassador Mo Gawdat revealed his simple formula for true happiness. When your expectations are equal to the reality of events then you are happy. If the event surpasses your expectations, then you will be even happier! That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to have a lovely holiday but, as this year has taught us all, we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff or let life get us down when things don’t go to plan.
Be Aware of Your Reactions
We can’t control what other people do, but we can control our reactions. Let that sink in. If you find yourself getting anxious or stressed because of something that someone else is doing, just take a moment to breathe before reacting. You’re in control, you have the choice.
Remember the Meaning of the Holidays
The holidays are, at their core, about love. And, whether you are able to spend time with your family in the same room or you’re connecting virtually, this year, try to enjoy a more mindful holiday. 2020 has been a challenging one, many of us spent much of the time unable to hug our families or friends. However you are able to connect (virtually or in real life) this festive season, connect mindfully. Play together, laugh together, eat together (if you can), do things that nourish your soul and that leave you feeling full of love and ready for the year ahead.