Holidays promote social connectedness, but they can also promote stress. Here are a few tips for staying cool, calm and jolly during the holiday season!
1. Stay active. Hit the local downtown scene for some holiday shopping. Holiday decorations and sales beckon, but we can make our holiday a bit more active by adding an extra lap around the block or mall between purchases. Or better yet, go for a walk and check out the holiday lights in your neighborhood. We get so used to driving by the festive decorations that we forget how much better they look when we feel the crisp air on our face and smell the scent of fires in the fireplace.
2. Simplify. Have you tried the Four Gift Rule? It’s a simple system for gift-giving that even has a cute rhyme to help you remember: something they want, something the need, something to wear and something to read. Not only does this strategy help your budget, it also helps prevent the anxiety around gift giving - what’s enough, should I do more, etc. - by setting boundaries and managing expectations.
3. Focus on experiences. According to a 2016 study reported in Science Daily, giving the gift of an experience has a more positive impact on our relationships than simply giving a material gift. The researchers hypothesize that experiences are more socially connecting because they tend to be more emotionally active.
4. Use your senses. Bringing our total attention to this sensory input - without judgement or commentary - lands us squarely in our bodies and the present moment. Luckily, the holiday season abounds with sensory input, so the next time you feel overwhelmed by your surroundings, turn the tables and begin to pay deep attention by sensing the different input individually, noticing sounds and smells, sights and tastes. The result is a sense of stillness or calm amidst a hustle of activity.
Do you have tips for managing the holidays? Share them with us here!