We all have our massive to-do lists: decorate the house, shop for gifts, plan menus, wrap gifts. A recent “Healthline” survey found that of those asked, 63% felt stressed at the holiday season. This spanned all age groups from Baby Boomers , to Gen-Xers to Millennials.
So how can we combat the stress and be more present (get it?) with our families this holiday season? It’s not easy, but with a little planning (I know, no more planning, please!) and intention it can be done.
Here are a few ways to focus on the festive.
- Attitude: Go into that busy shopping mall with a sense of purpose and openness. Accept the fact it will be crowded and get over it. Try to consciously find four small things that make you happy and in the spirit.
- Have Good Energy: Don’t let those around you get you down. Teach your children to overcome the negativity around them by smiling or making a joke about a situation. They learn their behavior from you. Show them the holidays aren’t a burden.
- Schedule Down Time: Talk to your family about when you can be together and just relax–with no tasks to accomplish. Watch a favorite holiday movie, drive around your neighborhood and look at lights. Make this an easy, laid back time for everyone.
- Focus on Your Five Senses: When you find yourself overwhelmed focus on your environment. Think about what you can hear, see, taste, touch and smell. Therapists offer this as a way to calm emotions and redirect a person’s attention. In this situation from stress to joy. . . hopefully.
We all want to have enjoyable holiday seasons with our families. Sometimes this month can whiz by in a rapid blur. But if we take the time to slow down and be more in the moment, we can appreciate this time more significantly.