It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays always give us those Feel Good Vibes. We are so grateful to have the time to spend with loved ones – celebrating, reflecting on old memories and creating new ones.
And… while this is all good and fun, we know the holidays have *another* side to them. To put it simply, this time can be stressful! We are traveling, hosting, spending money, getting out of our routines, spending time with family, running around… there is just a lot to do.
So, we are here with our top tips to make sure you can focus on the GOOD, fulfilling side that this time of year brings, and hopefully leave any stress behind.
First thing’s first if you want to focus on the good:
1. Establish A Mini Gratitude Practice
This is a small act that has BIG results. Finding gratitude in moments of tension or stress can significantly change your perspective on the situation, and help you realize that maybe what you’re freaking out about isn’t such a big deal after all ;). It’s hard to stay angry at your mom or jealous of your cousin when you stop and realize how lucky you are for the little things around you.
Some great ways to grow your gratitude practice are simply by practicing! When you wake up or before you go to bed (or both?), think of three things you are grateful for. It sounds cliche, but IT WORKS. There are so many studies these days about how gratitude can improve not just your psychological health but your physical health as well, because once we can release tension from the mind and find some ease, the body follows suit.
2. Set Boundaries
The word “boundaries” can sound a little aggressive, but there is absolutely a way to LOVINGLY set boundaries during the holidays. If you need to rest and don’t feel ready to wake up early for a family breakfast or go to bed late while your uncles play their favorite drinking game… don’t do it. It is okay to speak up and politely excuse yourself. If the people around you protest, you can remind them that this is a way for you to take care of yourself, so you can be fully present for the rest of your time with them.
But setting boundaries can also be something that you do quietly within yourself, it doesn’t always have to be something said out loud. If you know that you need to get in some alone time during the madness, hold yourself accountable and take that time for yourself, whether that is through 5 minutes of meditation in your bed or taking a short walk to clear your head — figure it out what it is that YOU need to stay calm and grounded, and make it happen.
3. Do Some Yoga
And we aren’t talking JUST the physical practice, we are talking a yoga practice from the inside, out. Physically, a yoga flow is an amazing way to stretch, relieve tension, ground, build strength, and connect to that calm place inside of us. It can even be a great way to get the family together — group yoga anyone?
But yoga also means staying present, mindful, compassionate and kind. On our mats, we practice finding stillness in the poses, body awareness as we remain still, and a full breath when we get into some uncomfortable situations. All of this applies to life OFF the mat as well. Allow yourself to slow down, find thoughtful responses over impulsive reactions, remember that EVERYONE is on their own individual journey, and that journey does not have to affect your practice.
4. Put Your Phone Down
First, we have to acknowledge that being buried in our phones is just a recipe for disaster, no matter the time of year. Constant notifications, emails, requests from other people, comparing yourself to someone you see on social media… it takes you 100 percent out of the moment, and shifts your focus away from what you are doing.
During the holidays, staying present and soaking up moments with the people around you is so important. We can take it for granted, but we are so lucky to have this time! (Enter: gratitude practice.) To ease into this, start by leaving your phone in your room just during a family meal. There will likely be conversation to keep you engaged, and of course food to focus on enjoying! For us, we like to go phone-less during the mornings, because having some quality time over coffee and breakfast can be so special.
5. Eat Something Green
Stay with us here. Over here at SLG we can’t WAIT to indulge in all of our holiday favorites this season (grandma’s mac and cheese… we’re coming for you), but food is also a tool to keep you fueled and feeling good! Fill your plate with whatever your heart desires, but adding some more greens or vegetables can make a huge difference in how you feel physically and mentally. Dark leafy greens can reduce brain fog, and cruciferous and fibrous vegetables can help eliminate toxins! So while you enjoy all of the treats, you can also add in some greens to keep things, ehm, moving.
What are your plans for the holidays? Are you keeping it small, or having a big get together? Whatever it is, know that we are thinking of YOU and are here to support you through the season. Comment below and let us know if you have any of your own tips to stay stress-free!