3 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress
The holidays can be an awesome time filled with food, family and friends. And they can be stressful, chaotic and overscheduled.
In order to maximize your enjoyment and reduce overwhelm, I have implemented a 3-2-1 system to re-set myself and get the most of my holiday experience. Read below and take whatever fits for you.
3 Things I am grateful for
Every evening I sit for a few minutes with a journal and write three things I am most grateful for TODAY and WHY. "Today I am most grateful for ... because..."
By framing your gratitude practice in this way, your mind is brought into the present (get the holiday pun there;) and you aren't just superficially rhyming off a check list. You are taking a beat to really feel into why you are grateful. I find this really helps to slow things down, bring me back into the moment and connect me to the truth that, no matter how the day has gone, my life is filled with blessings.
2 Box Breaths
Box breathing is a simple and super effective breathing technique that will help shift your nervous system out of that "fight or flight" state and into a more grounded place. When I feel myself getting wound up, I literally stop and take 2 box breaths (you can do more if you're vibing them!) and instantly shift my state of being.
Box breathing is simple: inhale on a slow 4 count, hold at the top for 4 counts and slow exhale for 4 counts. As you get more experienced, you can extend the count to 5 or 6 seconds. The main goal is to match the duration of the inhale and exhale.
Another habit that keeps me really grounded and feeling my best over the holidays is to stick to my everyday routine. I wake up around the same time, I eat normally throughout the day, and go to bed round the same time. Weekday, weekend, holiday, I am very consistent with the basics of my routine because I feel a thousand times better when I do.
Staying up super late, sleeping in, skipping meals to binge at a party... I've experimented with all of it and I never feel good after. The body loves consistency and I feel so much better when I am consistent with the structure of my typical days, regardless of the season, occasion, or what everyone else is doing :)
If any of these practices resonate for you, give them a try this holiday season. I wish you a low-stress, high enjoyment, connected, grounded holiday season.