The holidays are coming! Whether you’re excited or you’re dreading all the parties and family time, here are 6 tips to help you manage stress and get the most out of holiday time:
1. Manage your expectations. If you expect apples to fall from an orange tree, you are going to be disappointed. If you expect your family to be anything other than, well, your family over the holidays, you will get needlessly upset over something you can’t change. Treat everything that happens as if you EXPECTED it to happen. That way, there are no surprises.
2. Remember that holidays often bring out the worst in people. People are stressed about money, family, the cold weather, you name it! Wanna know a secret? It’s not about you! It never is. People are too caught up in their own world to think about anyone else. Do your best to avoid taking everything so personally. Cut everyone some slack. Even at the Target parking lot!
3. Booze doesn’t make our problems go away. If you are planning to drink your way through a difficult family get-together, or a work party, consider alternating every drink with water. You will make better decisions AND you will feel better in the morning. Win-win. Plus, alcohol actually worsens insomnia, rather than making it better. So, you’ll be better rested too (see number 6). Win-win-WIN!
4. A little gratitude goes a long way. There are lots of reasons for this, but practicing gratitude actually changes the way your brain functions. At night before bed, tear off a sheet of paper and write 5 things you are grateful for, and then put it in a jar. (Keep it simple. I’m often grateful for avocados and my friends). And/or, if your family is game, bring a gratitude jar to the dinner table, and everyone contributes (privately or out loud). It will shift the entire mood of the meal. (In a good way.)
5. DON’T TALK POLITICS. Just don’t.
6. Rest is the basis of activity. If you don’t sleep, you don’t perform as well. And you are more likely to snap at your family. Make sure you take care of yourself this holiday season. Get sleep, exercise, and don’t forget the self-care. Treat yourself to a massage. Try a yoga class. Or try meditation. Or at the very least, take 5 minutes to yourself, once or twice a day, without your phone or social media.
Looking for a way to manage your stress this holiday season? Come to an Intro to Vedic Meditation Class and learn more about how Vedic meditation can help you stay more connected and less reactive. Upcoming class dates are November 8th, 12th and 29th, and December 2nd, 6th, and 18th. Register here!