This year’s holiday season is upon us and most of us are looking forward to enjoying the festivities, spending time with loved ones, and relaxing from what has been a stressful year. However, for many people the holiday season can bring about a great deal of added stress. Much of the tension stems from high expectations and trying to do too much in a limited time. That’s why it’s important to understand mindfulness and how we can apply techniques during the holiday season to avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the true spirit of the holidays.
Managing The Stressful Holiday Season
What Brings About Holiday Stress?
Many people’s most fond and memorable moments come from spending the holidays with friends and family. So why would this time be more stressful for certain people? For some, expectations of a perfect holiday may be set too high causing stress or anxiety. Whether you’re worried about not being able to give your kids the perfect presents or are trying to coordinate family gatherings in a safe manner, attempting to plan the perfect holiday can lead to an abundance of stress. Practicing mindfulness techniques during this time can help alleviate much of the stress and lead to more enjoyable festivities. However, it’s important not to beat yourself up if you find yourself feeling stressed during the holidays as it’s a very hectic time for everyone. Especially after all the unexpected difficulties that 2020 brought about.
5 Tips To Manage Holiday Stress
Although the holiday season can be a beautiful time spent with family and friends, it can also lead to higher levels of stress due to preparation for the festivities. Due to the global pandemic, this year’s holiday season may be even more stressful than years prior. Here are a few tips you should consider to help prevent or reduce unnecessary stress:
- Set Realistic Expectations: The pandemic has changed almost everyone’s normal routine, so it’s understandable to not want to break the news that the holiday season may also be different. But rather than sugar coating and avoiding the discussion, it can be beneficial for families to discuss a realistic plan for the holidays. Whether you have to cancel a family gathering or change the location of the event, discussing these expectations can help you and your family accept whatever changes are heading your way.
- Bring Awareness To Your Family’s Emotions: Along with openly discussing plans and expectations, it’s also important to leave room for any feelings that may come up within your family. Feelings of disappointment, anger or sadness need to be acknowledged and not ignored. This will greatly help your loved ones stay balanced and keep the holiday spirits up.
- Allow Time For Unstructured Recharging: The holidays are full of planning, organizing, shopping, and general busyness. Although this is all necessary to safely plan family gatherings, make sure you’re also leaving some unstructured time for recharging. Allowing your family to have free time without scheduled events gives everyone a chance to breathe, relax, and enjoy the blessings of the holiday season.
- Treat Yourself: We all know the holiday season is about giving. However, it’s important to do something fun and relaxing for yourself as well. Take a break from the hectic times to go to a spa, treat yourself to a nice meal, or just relax on the couch all afternoon. Personal time is crucial for your mental health and well-being, so sometimes you have to stop trying to please others and enjoy some time for yourself.
- Practice Mindful Activities: No matter what you are doing, you can turn any activity into some form of meditation. Whether you’re decorating the house or baking cookies with the family, you can implement mindfulness techniques to those activities to combat stress. All you have to do is perform the activity with awareness. Set your phone aside and clear your mind of all the planning or shopping you may have to do. Simply focus all your attention on the activity at hand and enjoy some valuable time with your loved ones.
Eliminate Stress With Mindfulness
With everything that is going on around us, it’s easy to disconnect from mindfulness during the holidays. It’s a time of heightened emotions and this can be either good or bad depending on what you may be experiencing. That’s why practicing mindfulness throughout the holiday season is vital to staying level headed. Some ways in which you can practice mindfulness this time of year is by actively listening to others. Oftentimes, we tend to tune out during holiday dinners or get-togethers. Instead, make an effort to be aware of conversation and actively engage in it. You will be surprised by how rewarding it can feel to have a genuine, aware conversation with family members or friends.
Another way we can stay mindful this holiday season is by engaging in gratitude. Gathering together as a family can cause stress as you attempt to please everyone’s needs. Take a moment to appreciate your loved ones and be thankful that they’re able to meet this holiday season. Allowing yourself to look at the situation from a perspective of love and gratitude will help you recenter your mind in a chaotic time.
Give Your Employees The Gift Of Mindfulness
It might seem unusual to be planning for the holidays in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s possible to experience joy and gratitude this season while also preparing your family for the reality of the next few months. Practicing compassion, awareness and other mindfulness skills on a daily basis can help you manage and react to the stressors of the holidays — and life in general. At Alltrust Insurance, we care about the physical and mental well-being of your employees. That is why we partnered up with eMindful, to provide clients with the ability to offer evidence-based mindfulness solutions as part of their employee benefits this holiday season.