'Tis the Season to be...Stressed!
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
With the holiday season now fully upon us, there seem to be few ho, ho, hos going around and more than enough bah humbugs! Rather than feeling joyful, many are feeling stressed. There's too much to do and too little time. Many are feeling rushed, missing loved ones who are away or have passed, or confronting issues with others who are nearby. Or all of the above. People are worried about the current state of the world and are already being hit with winter illnesses.
It's no wonder many aren't feeling overly jolly!
So what's a frazzled woman to do?
First, take a deep breath. Or a hundred. Or anything in between. Breathing deeply moves us from the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the more relaxed state of the parasympathetic one.
Next, look around and focus on the present moment. If you're outside, notice how the air smells, the color of the sky, or any other signs of beauty around you. If you're indoors, find five things that you really like about the room you're in. Mindfulness practices such as these force you into the present moment. As a result, you can't be thinking about the past or worrying about your mile-long to-do list.
In addition to the above, find small ways to incorporate activities that bring you some pleasure each day. Whether it's taking just 10 minutes to read a book or flip through a magazine, adding some lavender essential oil to your morning shower, or watching a crazy animal video on YouTube (there are plenty to choose from!), find something, anything, that you can enjoy. If 10-15 minutes is all that you feel you can do, it's better than nothing and will go a long way to interrupting the stress cycle.
Finally, remember that it will all get done! It always has and always will! It won't be perfect, but good enough is, well, good enough.
Healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and incorporating some form of daily movement go without saying. But it's important not to beat yourself up if you "fail" in any of these areas. Do the best you can and be kind to yourself in the process.
Here's hoping that these tips make your holiday season a bit easier!