The holidays can be a very fun and festive time of the year. They can also be quite stressful – with all of the shopping, traveling, holiday parties and family gatherings. Being aware of your mindset throughout the holidays is important for your mental health. Luckily, this can be done through mindfulness, intention setting, and paying attention to your stress levels. Taking time to yourself throughout the holidays is also a good way to reset.
Sometimes it can be tricky to find that healthy mindset in the midst of the holiday season. Listed here are several ways to help regain control of your mind and to enjoy this special time of the year!
- Get Out of Your Head. It is important to remember that you are not your thoughts. You may have some self-destructive habits that circulate around and around from the past or stories you tell yourself about something going wrong. Fear and worrying is a trick our brains play on all of us but it is important to separate yourself from those thoughts. Brains tend to use a “negativity bias,” which means they choose to hone in on the bad stuff rather than the good stuff. Using a mantra or positive affirmations is very effective in replacing this negativity.
- Be in the Present. When you start to become aware of the present moment, you may start to notice how much your brain pulls you back into the past or worrying about the future. Coming into the present moment helps you focus on what you are feeling right now. This can be done by activating all five senses and coming back into your body. You can also close your eyes, place yourself right behind your eyes (as if in a control room in your head) and then open your eyes. This centers you right here and right now. Another great method for coming into the present is through grounding exercises, which ground you into your body right in this moment.
- Find your Joy Tribe. Make sure to fill your time with those that bring you joy. You want to spend time with those that fill you up, not those that drain you. Of course, there may be drainers during your family-fueled holiday experiences, but if you spend the most time with those that lift you up, make you laugh and fill your cup, then you’ll be more fulfilled.
- Take Time to Yourself. This cannot be stressed enough. Taking time out for yourself can help you reset, regroup and be more present with those you love when you are with them. Taking time to yourself can be any type of self-care that makes you feel safe, loved and held. This can include taking a long bath with Epsom salts, getting a massage or anything that feels comforting. You can also take time to yourself by doing physical activity. This can include things such as hiking, running, walking, and going to the gym.
- Do Yoga. Forming healthy holiday habits through yoga is a great way to center into your body, spend time with yourself and be in the present moment. Yoga can come in all forms, whether it is a 90-minute yoga class or a 10-minute self-care yoga routine you do every morning. You can even choose to participate in yoga nidra (“sleeping yoga”), laugh yoga (ha ha ha), or even a Thai yoga massage (they do the yoga for you!)
- Meditate. Meditation has long been shown to help increase prefrontal cortex activity in the brain. It is also effective at reducing depression as well as PTSD symptoms! And with all the stress that the holidays can bring, getting into this healthy holiday habit now is vital. It is also a fast and simple way to reduce stress. Meditation can come in many forms – you can choose to participate in a guided meditation or you can sit, stand or lie down and simply focus on your breathing. There are multitudes of ways to meditate and finding what feels good for you is important.
Whichever healthy habits you choose to incorporate into your holiday season, make sure to also bring joy into your days. Filling your time with positive self-talk is just as important as those you choose to spend your time with. Eat, drink and be merry during this holiday period – but mindfully so!
At Progressive Health and Wellness, we offer specialized focus on helping our clients stay on track through all aspects of life. We also offer mindset coaching focused on improving all aspects of the mind and body. Reach out to us for more information on what we can offer you.
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