The holidays are so wonderful… but sometimes spending extra time with family can be stressful. Fortunately, I have a few strategies for easing stress during the holidays!
1. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
I know, it’s easier said than done… but this small sacrifice is definitely worth the benefits! Those 30 extra minutes are for you and only you. This is time for you to practice self care! You can use the extra half hour to meditate, journal, practice yoga, exercise… the options are endless!
Personally, I use it to meditate. I have been meditating with the intention of breaking a habit, and my goal is to meditate for a half hour 90 days in a row in order to break the habit. I have no idea what my family’s schedule is like during the holidays – so instead of anxiously planning around everyone else, I make time for my meditation practice by waking up just a bit earlier 🙂
2. Help out in the Kitchen
In order to keep up your clean-eating streak (and to ease anxiety during meal time), be active in the kitchen! Be part of the grocery shopping and meal prepping process. In the grocery store, you can make sure to pick up healthy foods (or maybe a box of your favorite tea that you just can’t live without!) And during mealtime, you can make sure that those healthy foods are spoiled with too much oil, salt, or sugar. With just a little extra effort, you’ll be able to enjoy wholesome foods, which will make the holidays all the more enjoyable. Plus, you get to spend extra time with the chef of the family!
I recently became a full vegetarian (for moral reasons), and I come from a meat-loving family… To ensure I get proper nutrients during the holidays, I grab lentils, nuts, vegetables, and fruits at the grocery store while my mom purchases holiday supplies. I also make a protein-heavy vegan dish to serve at meals (lentil walnut loaf, soooo good! Lentil Walnut Loaf Recipe) These two small actions significantly lower my anxiety and keep me centered during the holidays.
Don’t forget to breathe! (can you tell I’m a yoga teacher?) The breath is your greatest and most versatile tool at any time, but especially during the holidays. You can practice ujayii breath (constrict the back of the throat and breathe through the nose to make a soft hissing sound) at any time and in any situation to bring you back to your center.
I tend to use pranayama (a.k.a. breathing) when conflict is escalating. Rather than getting caught-up in the madness of an argument, I turn my attention inwards. I focus on the breathe, and remind myself that life is good. Once I am calm, I can then resume the conversation in a mature and centered manner in order to de-escalate any conflict 🙂
I hope you are able to use the tips during your holidays (or whenever you feel out of balance!) Comment below for any strategies you use to stay centered during the holidays 🙂