A Healthline survey three years ago demonstrated that during the holiday season 62% of people described their stress levels as “very stressed” or “somewhat stressed.” There are many reasons why people develop this undue stress at what is supposed to be the “happiest time of the year.”
A few reasons for stress generally entail:
- Gift shopping
- Crowds and lines
- Gift giving ideas
Even just yearning to have the most “perfect” Christmas can set expectations too high… thus resulting in stressful states if things don’t happen according to plan.
When stress seeps in your body, you’re more likely to get sick, on top of everything else you’re already worried about.
What are some ways that you deal with the holiday stress? Maybe you exercise, do yoga, eat healthy foods, or maybe you get some one-on-one life coaching!.
Have you ever thought of practicing mindfulness?
While mindfulness might seem simple, it’s not all that easy. The true work is making time every day to keep it going – consistency is key. If you have run out of options for relieving holiday stress, try this beginner’s routine below. Practice it daily and notice the amazing results:
- Sit down. Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you. You can sit with your legs crossed or kneel – whatever stable position you can hold for a while.
- Set a realistic time limit. If you’re a beginner, it might help to choose a shorter time, such as 5 or 10 minutes.
- Become aware of your body. As you are seated just notice how you’re seated and what you feel in your body. Notice any emotions that come up, or even just the temperature of your body.
- Feel your breath. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes out and as it goes in. Notice how fast or slow you breathe, or the depth of your breath.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. Inevitably, your attention will leave the sensations of the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing this—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—just return your attention to the breath.
- Be kind to your wandering mind. Refrain from judgement of yourself or obsessing over the content of the thoughts in your mind that you find yourself lost in. Simply come back to your breath.
So, next time you run out of gift giving ideas, feel overwhelmed by all the cooking, or are required to attend a Christmas dinner with people who aren’t your favorite… practicing mindfulness can be a great tool during the “happiest time of the year.” Or, come get a free consultation to kick start some life coaching sessions.
Happy Holidays and be Merry!