The holiday season isn’t always all rainbows and sparkles. In fact, for some of us, the holiday season leaves us feeling more exhausted than we were at the start. (January blues, anyone?) Countless movies, ads, and social media posts have built our unrealistic expectations of what the holidays should be: A Pinterest-perfect home, majestic snow-ridden fields, and gorgeously plated food that looks like it’s straight off of your Instagram feed.
Trying to translate these unrealistic expectations into reality can be exhausting. So let’s skip the holiday stress, shall we? Keep reading for our holiday mindfulness tips on ensuring the season is what it’s meant to be – a rejuvenating vacation where you let go, rest, and are fully present with loved ones and yourself.
Holiday Mindfulness: Bring Peace & Calm To Your Holidays
The practice of mindfulness is bringing your mind to this moment. That means: Going with the flow of life’s current, instead of getting hung up on the ‘shoulds.’ Observing your perfectionistic mind patterns when they arise, and putting them aside instead of acting on them. Withholding judgment on people or experiences as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ and truly living in total acceptance.
We know, we know – it’s easier said than done. Our minds are here, there, and everywhere. And it’s only with consistent mindfulness practice that we can bring more peace to our inner and outer worlds. The great news? Practicing mindfulness keeps your mental health in check.
It’s your best antidote against overthinking, anxiety, worry, fear, and all of the exhaustion that comes with those rollercoaster emotions. More than that: it’s the key to more peace and calm this holiday season.
5 Holiday Mindfulness Activities For Adults
Here are five-holiday mindfulness activities that will build your resilience against holiday stress. Come back to these practices whenever you need to come back to yourself.
#1: The magic of breathwork
Did you know that the mind and breath are basically besties? It’s true: whatever one does, the other follows suit. So if you’re feeling angry, your breath will automatically become shallow and fast. And if you take long, deep breaths? Your mind will feel more centered and calm. This is why breathwork is so powerful!
Breathwork can be done anytime and anywhere you can get a few moments to yourself. You’ll instantly feel a noticeable difference after your practice.
Here are two breathing techniques that can be practiced regularly to build your resilience against a stressful holiday season:
- Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Benefits: Release accumulated tension and fatigue and calm a restless mind. Watch this video for instructions. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biry04x7rFM[/embed]
- Bhastrika (Bellows Breath)
Benefits: Get a natural boost of energy when you’re feeling dull or lethargic. Watch this video for instructions. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B93pnADIH4[/embed] Start with 10 minutes of breathwork practice per day, either in the morning or throughout the day when you need to regain your center.
#2: Mind the ‘shoulds’ and focus on what feels right for you.
It’s easy to let the flurry of holiday expectations weigh you down – whether it’s the pressure of attending one-too-many holiday dinners, finding that perfect gift, or whipping up a mind-blowing meal. Anytime you feel those ‘shoulds’ creeping in, become aware of them and ask yourself: Does this really matter to me? Do I have the energy for this right now?
If you get real with yourself and focus on doing things that energize you – and releasing things that drain you (even when it feels hard to do so!) – you can avoid burnout, resentment, and exhaustion during the holidays.
#3: Give yourself the gift of self-compassion.
This stressful season is the time for self-nourishment, both physically and mentally. Sticking with healthy habits like eating well, plenty of deep sleep, hot bath soaks, and exercising is a must to take care of your body.
As for your mental health: Nourish your mind with self-compassion by observing self-criticism without engaging with it, forgiving yourself for past mistakes, and allowing yourself to be with every moment without judgment. Going easy on yourself is one of the best ways to build your resilience.
#4: Be fully present with your rainbow of emotions.
Friends, family, and holiday gatherings may bring up a rainbow of emotions, ranging from joyful to not-so-great – and it’s usually the not-so-great ones that we tend to avoid or suppress. This holiday season, when you feel the downer emotions arising, take a few minutes to check in with yourself.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and feel the emotional sensations in your body. Then, sit with it. Without judgment and without trying to rid yourself of the feeling. Just be with it. Emotional awareness helps you release feelings faster, while preventing you from reacting to those feelings – both of which help you save your peace of mind and energy reserves.
#5: Chase the stress away with holiday mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness takes practice. Use our at-home biofeedback device, Reflect, to integrate mindful living into your everyday lifestyle. Our five senses are always alert and intaking endless information from the outside world. When we don’t give our mind a break from processing the incoming data, we accumulate stress and become easily exhausted and triggered by anxiety.
During a busy, eventful time like the holidays, turn to meditation to draw all five senses inwards and experience deeply rejuvenating rest. The Reflect Orb is a meditation device that helps you cultivate and stick with a meditation practice that recharges your mind and body, so you can enjoy the holiday season with more love, enthusiasm, and kindness.
Regular practice with the Orb will develop the habit of being in this moment, and you’ll find yourself more mindfully aware with every passing day. Get Reflect prep your mind, body, and soul for the holiday season – and for the new year that’s on the horizon.