It’s the Most Wonderful (and Stressful) Time of the Year:
5 Ways to Maintain Mindfulness throughout the madness of Holiday season.
Can you believe it! It’s almost time for the holiday season…where did the year go? It feels like only yesterday we were saying good-bye to 2016 and welcoming in a brand-new year. Now, the stores are stocked with beautiful Christmas trees, kids are finishing the school year, end of year parties and concerts are filling up our diaries and people are making plans on where to spend their holidays. It’s an exciting time of the year filled with fun and festivities! Unfortunately, the holiday hustle-and-bustle can also cause a lot of stress too!
It’s no secret that stress can wreak havoc on our bodies. In fact, stress has been linked to high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety, even heart disease and cancer. This is the last thing we want to worry about when we are stuffing our stockings! Fortunately, there are a few natural ways we can promote mindfulness and reduce stress throughout all of the holiday madness…
1. Make Time to Meditate: One of the easiest ways to reduce stress and promote mindfulness is to make time for meditation. Not only has meditation been linked to improving focus and mental clarity, it also helps to reduce anxiety! When we meditate, we push out all of the thoughts that create stressful or negative emotions in our body. Meditation allows us to get centered, focus on our breath, and relax. Just 20 minutes a day can have a huge impact on the way that we think, act and feel! Make it a goal to meditate at least once a day while you go about your pre-holiday routine.
2. Take Naps: If you are one of the many people who love to take naps, you’re in luck! Napping has actually been shown to help improve your memory by clearing the information out of your brain’s temporary storage areas. This allows you to wake up ready to absorb new information with a clear head! Napping also reduces fatigue and can help to give you a boost of energy, allowing you to tackle whatever holiday madness lies ahead. In addition to meditation, take a little nap halfway through the day! It will help your body feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
3. Plan Ahead: If you are in-charge of hosting a family event for the holidays, planning ahead is one of the easiest ways to help you stay sane! Write-up a menu of what you will be serving a few weeks in advance and create a list of the ingredients you will need. Using a dry-erase board, list the chores that your family can help you accomplish (cleaning the floors, setting the table, wrapping the presents, etc.), allowing your work-load to be lightened. On the day of the big event, have your recipes ready to be cooked by prepping the night before. This way you can focus on having fun with your guests and not just making the food!
4. Don’t Neglect your Health: With all of the work, preparation and fun that takes place during the holiday season, it is easy for us to forget about taking care of our bodies. We often neglect our daily workouts and replace healthy snacks with delicious sugary seasonal delights! While it is okay to indulge in the flavours of the season, make sure you aren’t putting your health on the backburner. Schedule time for your workouts, take your superfoods and supplements, and have healthy snacks during the day. Drink plenty of water and listen to your body. If it feels tired, stressed, or even angry, it is telling you to take a step back and do something to help it relax.
5. Get Creative: Perhaps you have noticed how many stores are selling “adult colouring books” these days! That’s because colouring, drawing, and being creative in general has been linked to reducing stress and promoting mindfulness. During the holiday season, nurture your creativity by making your own cards and gifts, or even wrapping paper. They don’t have to look like professional works of art, but if you spend time making something that truly reflects your passion and creativity, chances are it will mean a great deal to your friends and family. If you are feeling stuck and need some inspiration, head on over to YouTube or Pinterest, where there are hundreds of step-by-step tutorials and demonstrations that can guide you through the creative process.