The holidays can be a magical time of year. They can also be challenging and stressful. You may not be able to change the factors that contribute to your stress, but you can practice shifting your focus in a way that elevates your spirit.
Here are a few tips to help you manage holiday stress and make space for lightness and joy.
Create Smart Boundaries
This one’s a biggie, especially around technology. Setting boundaries is about acknowledging and implementing what works for you. Diluting your attention with screen time not only takes away from your ability to enjoy the moment, it also steals your presence away from the people you love. Choose how you spend your attention wisely and let your choices reflect what matters most to you.
Connect to the Why
Be mindful of dramatizing your to-do list. Sure, it can feel good sometimes to complain about all of the stuff we have to do, but it often just leaves us feeling more overwhelmed. Instead of feeding thoughts like, “Ugh, I have so much to do!”, connect to the why behind what needs to get done. Challenge yourself to see your to-do list as a list of things you want to do rather than a list of chores. If there’s something that fills you dread, can you cross it off your list? Or, at the very least, can you reframe it in your mind so that you can relate to it in a different way? Focusing on the why will help you stay connected to the motivation behind your actions.
Keep The Spirit Alive
Whatever you focus on expands. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, think about what the holidays mean to you. This is an example of pratipaksha bhavanam, the practice of replacing a negative thought with a positive one. You can shift mental gears by focusing on a memory or ritual that captures the spirit of the holidays. Rather than dwelling in thoughts that make you feel heavy, choose to focus on thoughts that spark joy.