Mindful plans for a stress-free Christmas
5 tips for a thoughtful festive season
While Christmas is known as “the most wonderful time of the year”, it can be a significant source of stress, pressure, and conflict for many of us. Some people can feel overwhelmed by the excess, expectations, and exchange during the holidays. A lack of time and money and the pressure of gift-giving contribute to the stress level as well. Draw your focus away from the commercial aspects and toward the true meaning of Christmas: love, connections, hope, and peace.
We have put together 5 tips that help you be more mindful through the festive season and to “de-stress”.
Our society leads us to believe that happiness comes through material things. Christmas over time became more a celebration of consumerism than spirituality. However, the pleasure of possessing things has a moderately short life, and its happiness is transitory. Don’t miss the presents under the tree, but don’t forget to give: Give time and affection to your family or loved ones, but also give back to the less fortunate ones. Organizing a food drive for the poor people of your area together with friends and family, for example, will boost up your sense of community and will do some good for those in need.
Focus on the positive and take off the stress
Our minds can only do one thing at a time. Therefore, focusing on the little wins will allow you not to focus on the negative aspects. Set your mind on the perks of holiday time – vacation days, time for yourself and the family, the possibility to rest a bit.
This will leave you feeling like the festive season was a huge success. Focusing on what did not go as planned will leave you unsatisfied, wearing off the energy you should be able to recover during holidays. Who cares if the dinner isn’t well cooked or kids are throwing tantrums on Christmas morning. Just focus on what is in your control and then forgive and accept the rest.
Take mindful walks
Focusing on the positive is sometimes not enough. Tasks accumulate, the time is short, and that particular relative has always something negative to say that gets on your nerves. A mindful walk might be just the medicine against all that.
Getting outdoors in nature is the perfect start for a mindfulness stroll. Choose a point of focus when outdoors, such as your breath or your feet hitting the ground. Become aware of the exact movements of your feet: The heel making contact with the ground, the sole rolling towards the front. Become fully immersed in listening to your breath, in and out. This exercise clears your mind and leaves some headspace for more positive thoughts.
Practice digital distancing
Concentrate on the people that surround you in real life during Christmas time. At this time, make digital devices secondary and give them a little break too. Of course, you do not have to completely abandon your phone, but maybe you can compromise. Social media are a great source of stress and unhappiness as we tend to compare our reality with a gold-plated version of other people’s lives.
Moreover, try to wish people you care about a merry Christmas personally, make a call, or send them an old fashion Christmas card. This has become rare in modern digital times, and it’s a gesture that always brings great pleasure.
Don’t forget to have fun
Christmas is an excellent excuse to relax a bit and enjoy moments. We tend to forget it, distracted from the day-to-day grind. Most of our treasured reminiscences are time spent with friends or family.
Honor the little things: Whether it’s a film on the couch under a blanket with the kids, a visit to the Christmas market, or cooking a meal for the loved ones, they are not so little after all!
Plan day trips to places you love or that you’d love to visit, go to the movies for a film that makes you laugh, organize activities, and don’t forget to have fun yourself.
Christmas can be a stressful time for many people. But remember: The greatest pressure is the one we put on ourselves.
Learning to let it go, meditate, and enjoy this occasion for time off and reconciliation with our beloveds is valuable knowledge we should take into consideration.
Be good and patient with yourself, and the rest will follow!
Your Humanoo Team