When the holiday season approaches, it is easy to be swept up in the hustle and bustle of the world preparing for the winter celebration. Lights are hung, candles are lit, and music is played for the whole house to hear.
The problem, however, is the holiday season can be a lot when you factor in family and friends and all the events where your presence is requested. Although cheerful, it can be stressful. With the influx of people and social events, the best thing to maintain inner peace and not get overwhelmed is to practice mindfulness. Setting time aside for yourself is the foundation for creating a peaceful environment where mindfulness and relaxation can occur.
Hopefully, by practicing the following four tips, you can maintain inner peace while enjoying the holiday festivities.
1. Set Boundaries with Family
As mentioned before, the holiday season ushers in an influx of social events. Most of these festivities bring families from all over the world together. Whether it be parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins, people have an interest in your life and personal opinions they can’t help but share. No matter the person or the topic, if you feel it is crossing a boundary, it is. When it comes to topics like money, politics, or relationships, you do not have to engage in these conversations. Simply excusing yourself or replying “you may be right” can disarm the person attempting to engage you in a polemic debate. Its okay to remove yourself from an environment that disrupts your peace and triggers negative internal responses.
2. Stay Healthy
The holidays are notorious for bringing out unhealthy habits within us. From eating until capacity to laying around on the couch all day, the holidays inspire laziness and gluttony. Mindfulness makes the slip into these unhealthy habits less likely. For example, paying attention to the food you're eating is an easy way to practice mindfulness during this time of year. Take precautions to only ingest foods that fuel your body instead of harming it. By not eating foods that trigger a bad reaction, like ingesting dairy when lactose intolerant, you are choosing to avoid the gut ache that could otherwise occur.
Another way to be healthy during the holidays is by physically moving your body. During the day, when you find a moment of free time, take a stroll throughout the neighborhood. You can also bike or practice yoga! By choosing to move your body, you are practicing mindfulness. Activities like dancing are also an opportunity to get your family involved in quality time while also working off some of those extra holiday calories.
3. Prioritise Self-Care
Self-care looks different for everyone because you are choosing to do what is best for you at that moment. Self-care encompasses your entire being: your mind, body, and soul. Focusing on self-care means listening to your body and identifying what parts of you need nourishment. For example, if you are lethargic, you should exercise or incorporate some movement into your routine. If you are feeling heavy emotionally, journaling can help release pinned-up emotions and help you work through and understand your feelings. If you are feeling overwhelmed and detached, grounding in nature can help you recharge with positive energy.
Another way to practice self-care is by surrounding your physical space with things that calm you. For example, crystals, waterfalls, and plants can bring warmth and calming energy to any environment. You can also incorporate energy-charged clothing items and jewellery to protect yourself from negative energy and lower vibrations. By wearing one of KimonoGirl’s energy kimonos, you can raise your vibrations and keep your mind in a positive space. However you look at it, self-care starts with being mindful of yourself and caring for whichever part of you needs to be nurtured.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
If you find you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to show yourself some compassion. This method can also be used during difficult or passionate conversations.
It involves three steps:
(1) Notice that the current moment is causing you discomfort. This can be physical, mental, or emotional, but either way, acknowledging it is bothering you is the first step to easing your mind.
(2) Once you have acknowledged that you are in a difficult or uncomfortable position, understand that you are not the only person in the world who is experiencing such discomfort. Everyone has family members they would rather not interact with during the holidays. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are not alone.
(3) The final step is showing yourself the love and grace you need. By choosing to be kind to yourself at that moment, you are focusing more attention on nurturing your energy rather than outsourcing it into a conversation that could harm you.
All in all, the best way to practice mindfulness during the holiday season is by being present. Once you find a balance between keeping your boundaries while engaging with family, you can interact with a full heart knowing you and your family are creating lasting memories together.