Being kind to yourself gets tougher as the holidays approach. This is a quick list to help keep you on track and make sure you enjoy your holiday season.
1. Remind yourself to be present. Put down the phone, computer or tablet and enjoy the moment. Being present requires that you quiet your mind and block out everything that is not relevant to the moment. Try not to let your mind wander. In the present, there is no past and no future. There is just NOW. This holiday season, try to not to focus on last years holiday meltdown or what may be waiting for you on the other side of your much-deserved days off.
2. Make list. List will help to keep the anxiety down. This time of year, there are so many parties to attend, gifts to buy, bills to pay, etc. that it is easy to get overwhelmed. List will assure that you are organized and that you control your holiday season and the season does not control you. (I actually have a running list of lists to make, funny, but true).
3. Say No. No is a complete sentence. Saying “No” to toxic relatives, friends and situations will lead to a happier, less stressful holiday. Be a bit more selfish with your time, after all, it IS your holiday too! It is easy to over obligate ourselves during this time of year. Yes, I will make the cake. Yes, I will come over to help. Yes, I will attend your party. Yes, I will visit each relative and so on and so forth. Limiting your obligations this can help alleviate the stress of the holiday season.
4. Breathe. When you feel yourself starting to get overwhelmed, deep breathing will center you and lower your heart rate. Be still. Take 10 deep breaths. Sometimes it helps to place you hand over your diaphragm and close your eyes. Feel the air coming up through your lungs and slowly release. Pay attention to your body. While breathing do a body scan, be mindful of the way your toes feel, your legs, your back, your arms, your hands…..and breathe.
Happy Holidays and remember to be kind to yourself. You are amazing!
Euronda Travis, MS, LPC