How To Manage Holiday Stress Through Mindfulness

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We all know that the holidays can be a stressful time since there are a seemingly endless amount of tasks and responsibilities. To start–shopping for presents, wrapping presents, cleaning, decorating, shopping for groceries, cooking large meals, attending holiday parties, and arranging schedules to visit with family are just some of the responsibilities required of us. That’s an incredible amount of tasks to complete in less than a month’s time!

How Do You Manage Holiday Stress?

It’s not hard to see how easily we can become overwhelmed with such a daunting list, but what if we stepped aside and took an emotional break from time to time? Then we might feel re-energized and more prepared for the holiday. But how do we this that exactly?

The answer is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being physically present in the moment and allows us to emotionally detach from thoughts that cause distress. For example, looking at the list above may immediately trigger a thought of “Oh my gosh, there is no possible way I can get all of this done”. That thought then triggers the emotions of stress, anxiety, and frustration.

Ways We Can Practice Mindfulness This Holiday Season

  1. Enjoy holiday music: Take a minute and experience the song. What are the lyrics? Is your body relaxed while listening? What instruments can you hear?
  2. Notice the holiday lights: How many lights are there? What are the colors you see?
  3. Decorating your home: Take a moment to focus on each task individually. Focus your attention on each item and where you decide to place that item.
  4. Be present with loved ones: Take time to be fully present with someone. Make consistent eye contact with the person. Notice their body language when talking.

How Mindfulness Can Help

By practicing mindfulness we can be present in the moment and disconnect from unhelpful thoughts, therefore reducing distressing emotions. This will allow for a more positive outlook and more time enjoying this holiday season.

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Author: Melissa Sauder, LPC

Melissa is a licensed professional counselor who loves helping women learn to empower themselves so they can lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Her therapy is spending time with her dog, a labradoodle named Sammy.