3 Tips to Manage Holiday Stress

Simple mindfulness strategies to help you enjoy the season.

Posted Dec 19, 2018

The holiday season can be stressful for so many different reasons. For starters, we may be thrust together with family (enough said) and/or we may feel alone. It can also be a time of financial stress with year-end payments due plus the pressure to prove how much we care for our family and friends through lavish gift giving. And then there are the conflicting messages that we get about food and our body; the encouragement to "indulge" in holiday treats while also being told we need to maintain or achieve a smaller body size.

But we don't need to spend the time from Halloween to Valentine's Day totally stressed out. Check out these three mindfulness-based tips to help you cope with stress around the holidays.

1. Develop or Maintain Your Meditation Practice

Meditation allows us to take a step back from the chaos and check in with ourselves. Whether we're ignoring our needs, not realizing when we're being triggered, or not knowing when it's time for self-care, meditation forces us to stop, connect with our body, and get in touch with what we need amidst the holiday brouhaha. You may feel like the holiday season is a time period in which you have the least amount of time to devote to meditation, but even three minutes a day makes a huge difference! Check out the very first module of my free course to learn how to develop a quick and easy meditation practice if you don't know where to begin.

 Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush/Unspash
Let the demand for the perfect winter wonderland tablescape melt away!
Source: Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush/Unspash

2. Let Go of the Pressure and Expectations

There's a lot of pressure to have a picture-perfect Instagram-worthy holiday. But, unless you are Martha Stewart (with a team of pros behind the scenes), this is seldom a realistic expectation! We all have lives outside of preparing for the holidays, and that's okay. It's so important that we step away from this demand of a "perfect" holiday, and accept that whatever we bring to the table (metaphorically and literally) is enough. Remember, the holidays are supposed to be about spending time with loved ones, not proving that you can make the best paper mache snowman or winter wonderland tablescape! Little tip: unfollow anyone on social media who is making you feel like your holiday celebrations are less than.

3. Lead with Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is a great centering focus because it reminds us that we are allowed and need to nurture ourselves. Doing whatever it is you need to do in the moment to take care of yourself is okay and allowed. Self-compassion is a huge catalyst for self-care, both of which will support us in achieving whatever it is we want to achieve for the holidays and beyond.