The Halloween candy is barely gone and the grocery store aisles are filled with Christmas cards and candy canes.
Somewhere between Thanksgiving week and January 2nd, we sort of lose our sanity.
Some of this stress comes from external expectations: office parties you’d rather not attend and commercials telling you all the things you should buy your loved ones. And some from internal pressures: will your gifts be loved and your cards be delivered on time?
Here are five ways to help you stay grounded this holiday season:
1. Self-care. At a time when it seems like the whole world will fall apart if you don’t order one more gift or address one more card, learn to give yourself a break. Give yourself the gift of a yoga class, a good massage, or a lavender-infused bath. You know what they say about caring for yourself before you try to take care of others, so make self-care a priority this season.
2. Think homemade. In a society obsessed with commercialism, why not step back and offer gifts from the heart? Handmade cards, homemade essential oils, or fresh baked goods make lovely gifts. Not handy? Consider how much your friends or family might appreciate a back rub, a car wash, or a house cleaning. No credit cards required.
3. Under indulge. Yes, ’tis the season of fudge and cocktails, but keep in mind that too much of a good thing gets old really fast. Too much sugar or alcohol will increase your anxiety level while weakening your immune system. Does this mean no parties for you? Of course not! Rather, pace and compensate. For example, for every glass of bubbly, treat your body to a glass of pure water, monitor the sweets, and make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, raw veggies to keep your body thriving.
4. Avoid family freak-outs. If you have family that you only see during the holidays because you force yourself to spend time with them, maybe it’s time to re-think your idea of family. There is no law that says you are required to spend time with anyone whose vibes are way out of alignment with your own. If removing yourself from the holiday cheer completely seems too drastic, at least make a promise to protect yourself against any conflicts by refusing to participate. We all have family members who push our buttons, but it’s always on us to not react.
5. Remain mindful. Perhaps the number one reason for stress during the holiday season is our tendency to run around at warp speed while living in our heads. When we take time each day to drop into our bodies, paying attention just for the sake of sanity, life becomes much easier. Living in our heads keeps us in chaos. When we can take a moment to breathe and sink inside, we are living from our hearts, which is what the holidays are all about in the first place.
Take care of yourself this month.