The holiday season is at our doors. And even though it’s all about giving, and being with the ones that we love, this time of the year can also bring a lot of anxieties.
Money issues, family dynamics and so on, usually feel amplified. They can be the cause of stress and unease.
But, the good news is that holidays do not have to be so challenging. So we present five tips to help you get through the holidays compassionately and mindfully.
1. Make your gifts thoughtful, not expensive.
Money is usually one of the most significant stresses over the period of holidays. This is because of the high expectation to purchase gifts for all family members and friends.
Remember that it is all about the intention and not the actual gift itself.
You do not need to spend a lot of money or buy the latest gadget, to impress someone. Instead, you just have to give the gift which comes from your heart.
Some of the best gifts you can give are the ones that you make by yourself. There are a lot of DIY ideas for that purpose. This can be making your chocolates, food baskets and a lot more.
DIY types of gifts are also affordable, and easy to make in bulk. They are the perfect choice for both, your family and friends. These gifts show that you have spent some time and put an extra effort to make them.
2. If you are not into cooking, eat before you attend.
Food is significant stress around the holidays. If you are trying to monitor what you eat or you follow some particular diet, it can be challenging. It can also be uncomfortable for you to attend gatherings where there is a lot of food. And then there’s family and friends that will keep pressuring you to eat it.
It is important not to let others’ food habits to disturb yours. For instance, if you are vegan and every one of your family eats meat, don’t let such things bother you.
If you know that you would not like the food they are about to serve, don’t get all stressed about that. You can just eat before you go. Or you can offer to bring a dish to the event which you know you can eat.
If you receive comments from people about the food on your plate, keep it casual and do not get defensive. Also, you can try to change the topic. For example, post a question which will make them talk about themselves.
The point here is that if you are a guest in the house of someone else, you should be gracious and thankful. No matter what their table offers.
3. Learn how to let things go.
For every one of us, the family can be a huge trigger. Different family dynamics can be stressful. As the guru, Ram Dass said:
If you think that you are enlightened, you should go and spend a week with your family.
If you know that particular members of your family are a trigger for you — prepare yourself.
When it comes to family, there is not a lot much we can do to change their habits. Especially if we only ever see them once a year around the period of holidays.
In such cases, the best thing which you can do is to allow their comments to roll off. Create yourself a protection. Use affirmations to help keep you be calm and safe as well.
If you have problems with a member of your family or a friend that there may be a reason to address the issue but you may not like to choose to do that during the Christmas lunch.
For a lot of people, holidays can be stressful. Try to be compassionate and more forgiving with other people as well, during this period of the year.
4. Focus on what is important.
Make a vow starting from today. You deserve to enjoy and have fun during this period of the year.
The period of holidays is really about coming together and giving thanks for the year we are leaving behind. Celebrate your wins and failures. Also, it is a time to think about other people and support those who are in need.
The period of holidays will mean different things to different people. Think what is important to you. Honor that message. Or make it your mantra during this time of the season.
When you focus on what is essential, it will also help you to put things into perspective, and manage your stress levels better.
Stressing about the gifts that you will buy, as well as be trying to please other people is not a way to spend your holidays. Get rid of whatever is weighing you down. Choose to celebrate in a way which will make you enjoy and have fun.
5. Remember to breathe.
The last tip is just to breathe. Whenever you feel the stress, just have to pause and breathe. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts. Exhale for 4 counts and then hold for 4 counts. Repeat this breathe cycle for a few more minutes, for instant relief, calming and rejuvenating effect.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyable, so this year, find the fun. Allow all the stress to melt away.
Source: Forever Conscious