The holiday season, marked by festive decorations, cheerful melodies, and the warmth of shared moments, can also be a source of stress for many — myself included. From busy malls to the pressure of finding the perfect gift for the special ones in your life, the holidays often bring a mix of joy and chaos.
However, finding a bit of inner zen amid the hustle and bustle is not only possible but essential. After all, it’s your winter break, whether that’s from school or work. Here are a few tips from yours truly on staying above the water and actually enjoying all the wonder the holiday season offers.
Every day, make it a habit to take a moment to step back and focus on your breath. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths. But, even for moments when you’re stuck in a shop’s busy line for example, take a moment to try this. It’s about allowing your mind to refocus and refocus on the present moment. I find this helps the holidays, or any special times in my life, to also not fly by in a flash!
The holiday season often revolves around giving to others, but it’s crucial not to neglect yourself. Prioritize self-care by scheduling time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s reading a book, bundling up for a walk, or indulging in a favorite hobby (for me it’s a pair of knitting needles), making time for yourself will recharge your emotional batteries and allow you to pour more out of your cup for others.
Set realistic expectations
For me, one of the main sources of holiday stress is the pressure to meet unrealistic expectations that I’ve naturally put on myself, like finding the ideal gift. One thing I’m trying to do is remember perfection is not something to strive for, and both myself and my loved ones will always prefer the joy of moments together above all else.
Embrace the power of saying no
It’s okay to decline invitations or commitments that add unnecessary stress to your plate. As someone in their early 20s, this can be hard. But, if something doesn’t align with my well-being, I’ve learned that setting boundaries is essential for preserving both my mental and emotional health.
Create a relaxing environment
I’m someone whose mental health is so affected by my space. If my room is cluttered, my brain is cluttered. With wrapping paper bits around and gifts all over the place, this year I’m working on transforming my living space into a sanctuary of calm. Even by using soft lighting, keeping sweet holiday music on and lighting a pine-scented candle can make all the difference for me.
Overall, my best tips for staying calm during the holidays involve a combination of mindfulness, self-care, and realistic expectations.
Try with me to incorporate these strategies into your routine, so you can navigate the festive season with a sense of calm, allowing you to truly enjoy the joyous moments and create lasting memories with those you love most!