While holidays are meant to be a time of joy, for many people they are incredibly stressful. With memories of the past and worries of the future, it’s during these stressful times that we need to focus on ourselves and being well, so we can fully enjoy the holidays as they are meant to be.
Taking care of yourself during the holidays is not an easy task. Between gift shopping, spending time with family and friends, and holiday event preparations, it can feel like there’s no time to even be able to accomplish that. The stress will slowly overwhelm you if you aren’t aware of it.
There is an unconscious anxiety during the holidays that many people don’t realize. Being stuck inside, safe from the cold, we are also stuck basking in the memories of the past that flood in during the holidays. This can be exceptionally stressful if these memories involve loved ones we’ve lost or ones that simply aren’t pleasant.
Not only are our minds pulled to the past, they are also pushed forward with the looming new year. While spending time reviewing the year to find New Years’ resolutions, we can judge ourselves for what we weren’t able to accomplish and worry about the possible issues in the coming year.
With our minds naturally pulling up both to the past and towards the future, the key challenge is staying in the moment. By being fully in the moment, we can be aware of how stressed we are and be kind to ourselves. With all the holiday festivities, people can get thrown off of their routines and forget to take care of themselves. This sudden change in stability makes us even more sensitive to the stress.
The idea is to stay on track with our self care rituals. They are vital to making sure we stay in a positive state of mind. Make a conscious effort and continuous focus on surrounding yourself with positive activities and soothing sensations.
Even if you feel as though you don’t have enough time, give yourself small treats. Whether you diffuse relaxing essential oils, play music, or eating a delicious meal, focus your attention on fully enjoying yourself. Breathing exercises are a good practice while you’re out running errands.
At the very least, during this holiday season, be conscious of where your mind travels. Be aware of when it gets stuck on memories of the past and worries of the future. When you’re able to be notice your stressful thoughts, you can gently take time with yourself and to be sure you’re well, which is always the most important thing at the end of the day.