It is already October! And you know what the last quarter of the year brings, right? Holidays! Such a mixed blessing. Holidays are a great opportunity to reconnect with family, spend time with loved ones and create new family traditions. But holidays always seem to come with added stress.
There are some easy and effective methods you can use to reduce the stress and reconnect to a simpler life during the holidays - so that you can enjoy the last quarter of the year and rejuvenate yourself for a brand new one!
Slow Way Down
We go so fast these days. Sometimes all we need to reduce the stress in our lives is to slow down a bit. Create a regular habit of de-stressing with 5 deep breaths anytime you start to feel anxious or worried.
In fact, you can start your day with 5 breaths and set yourself up for a stress free day. Before you even get out of bed in the morning, sit up slowly and close your eyes. Focus your attention on your breath. When you notice your attention wandering to anything else thoughts, notice and focus it back to your breath.
Sometimes all it takes to reduce stress is to stop, slow down and take a few deep breaths. Try it out and see how big a difference it makes during the holidays and all year long.
Make Time for Yourself
During the holiday season, making time for yourself may seem like a far-away idea. That is because we tend to jam our schedules full of activities and festivities. But taking time for ourselves is just what we need to reduce stress and increase our moods. Make yourself a priority and create the time to do simple things to take care of yourself. It may sound counterintuitive, but when you make time for yourself, you will open up more time in your day with all of the additional clarity and mental space.
Think of what works best for you to reconnect with yourself - is it a bubble bath before bed, 30 minutes of yoga practice, or a nice walk through the woods? Whatever it is that you need, create the time and put yourself first.
We are all thankful for the things we have in our life. But how often do we practice and show gratitude? Even on the worst, most challenging days ... there is always plenty to be thankful for. You have eyes that allow you to read this blog post. You have an internet connection through your computer or smart phone. You have food to eat. Think of all of the things in your life - big and small to be thankful for ... and then be thankful intentionally. This is a challenging and rewarding practice.
When you are truly grateful in your life, stress is much less likely to hijack your mind. Be grateful for everything - even the additional challenges that come with the holidays.
Get Others Involved
When people see how stress free and happy you are during the holidays, they are likely going to ask how you do it. Share your secrets and practices. Involve your friends, family and children and anyone else you care about. What a great way to spread the holiday cheer!