The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave many people feeling stressed Try these holiday stress tips to mindfulness to reduce stress.
Not feeling overly joyous during this "most wonderful time of the year"? You're not alone. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave some people feeling too stressed to enjoy the season. Whether it's stressful family obligations or financial stressors from buying gifts, there are many reasons people experience stress during the holiday season.
In a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, 69% of respondents indicated they feel stressed by the 'lack of time' during a busy holiday season. Additionally, 51% responded they feel stressed about "the pressure to give or get gifts." Regardless of the reason for your holiday stress, mindfulness can make a big difference in helping to manage it. This holiday season, try these five mindful holiday stress tips.
5 Mindful Holiday De-Stress Tips
1. Always Respond with Kindness
Interactions with friends, family, or coworkers can get intense during the holiday season. While you can't change how others act, you can alter how you respond to situations by using kindness. Remember, it's likely that other people are facing similar holiday stressors too.
When faced with difficult interactions, responding with kindness can look like this:
• Extending an act of kindness to improve someone else's holiday season. This season can be especially difficult for those who are alone or have recently experienced a loss. Remind yourself the person may be suffering internally, causing them to take frustrations out on you.
• Practicing deep breathing in the heat of a frustrating conversation can help you shift focus, allowing you to respond with kindness.
• Understanding that difficult interactions are not personal.
2. Get Outside and Breathe Fresh Air
While the winter air may be frigid, getting outside to exercise, if even for a few minutes, can help to reduce stress. Between holiday decorating, shopping, baking, and wrapping, people may spend more time indoors during the holiday season than they realize. In turn, this means they m little exercise. So if you find yourself stressed, a quick walk around the block can help to ground you.
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 62% of adults feel that exercising or walking is an extremely effective technique for stress management. Whether you go for a long run or a simple 5-minute walk, movement in any form is one of the best holiday stress tips. Not to mention, spending time in nature itself could also work hand-in-hand with exercise to relieve stress.
3. Grounding Techniques
As the days of the holiday season may seem limited, you're likely to have a long to-do list full of tasks. Although shopping and decorating seem critical at the time, it's important to remember what really counts. The holiday season is more about spending time with loved ones and less about buying gifts! Using grounding exercises is an effective holiday stress tip, as they can be done anywhere!
Frustrated in a holiday traffic jam? Angry at a family member causing havoc in the Christmas day plans? Try grounding techniques to help you reconnect with the present, reducing stress and anxiety. One grounding exercise to try as a holiday stress tip for mindfulness is known as the "5,4,3,2,1 exercise", where you identify 5 objects, 4 sounds, 3 textures, 2 smells, and 1 taste in the environment around you. By re-shifting your focus to think of these things, you can help change your brain's response to stress at the moment.
4. Stop and Break
Although you may feel a "lack of time" during the holiday season, stopping to pause whenever possible can help in stress management. Our brains are constantly overstimulated, shifting from one task to the next. Taking small breaks periodically is perhaps one of the easiest holiday stress tips to adopt. When breaking or pausing, put away all electronic devices and simply close your eyes. You may also wish to use this mindful break as a time to express gratitude or reflect silently.
While silent reflection can help reduce stress for some people, others may find it more helpful to put pen to paper. Keeping a daily gratitude journal during the holiday season can help you keep focused on things of the most importance and let go of small stressors. Many find that journaling a few things they're grateful for each day helps them de-stress and improves their mood.
In addition to gratitude journaling, writing down your emotions can also help you de-stress during the holiday season. Set aside 5 minutes at the end of each day during the holiday season to write down how you're feeling about the day's events. This includes journaling both positive and negative emotional responses.
Try These Holiday Stress Tips
Are you feeling stressed this holiday season? You're not alone. Using these 5 mindful holiday de-stress tips can help you re-shift focus and manage stress better this holiday season. Simple measures, such as a daily journal or responding with kindness, can go a long way in making this holiday season better than ever.