Aren’t the holidays supposed to be filled with joy?
Well, yes. But who actually feels fun the whole time? Basically, no one. Holiday stress is a very real thing. It’s also super frustrating because while everyone else seems the happiest they’ve ever been, you’re confused as to why you just can’t find that holiday peace.
Even though the holidays can bring lots of excitement, it easily turns south when the Christmas budget dwindles, to-do lists grow, family needs arise, and your self-care time becomes non-existent. To top it off, this year will be especially different. For many who rely on their family for comfort, visiting them might be out of the question. This means, along with the extra stress, loneliness, and increased feelings of anxiety are a very real possibility.
So, how do you beat holiday stress?
Focus on yourself as much as possible, squeezing in self-care wherever you can. Why? Because stress makes the situation much, much worse. Instead of focusing on the positives, your brain resorts to bouts of mental health lows.
We want to avoid this as much as possible, so a.) we can try our best to enjoy the holidays and b.) calm our overwhelm. Now, since the holidays are also one of the busiest seasons, this can be difficult. But thankfully, you have meditation!
7 Quick Meditations You Can Squeeze Into the Holiday Madness
To beat holiday stress, you have to stay on top of it. But, you also don’t want to stress over de-stressing. (It happens!) E.g. You put so much pressure on needing to stress less that you actually stress more.
This is where very simple de-stress tactics like meditation come in. The point of meditation is to be a very pure, authentic experience. Meaning, you don’t have to prepare. You just come as you are — stress and all. Thus, self-compassion struts in, while the meditative state helps calm your nerves. A double stress-less whammy! One study shows that mindful meditation, in particular, can reduce the inflammation responses caused by stress.
Okay, but what does that even mean? In a nutshell, research suggests that meditation may be a useful tool for anxiety and has also been shown to promote restful sleep — both things you need to beat holiday stress! To top it off, it doesn’t take much to reap the benefits of meditation. For instance, even five to ten minutes can help you switch out of a stress response and into relaxation.
Enter: these quick, soothing meditations!
#1 Morning Mindset with Amanda Gilbert
No better way to start your day! This morning mindset meditation will help you set an intention for the rest of the day, like worrying less or taking care of yourself more. It sets the tone and promotes more positive thinking.
#2 Mindful Awareness with DeAndre Sinette
Sometimes, when stress overwhelms you, it can be really hard to just be present and breathe. In this mindful awareness meditation, DeAndre guides you through a judgment-free practice, embracing any thoughts that pop up and welcoming in the energy with grace. This is a meditation practice we all could benefit from during this hectic time of year.
#3 Visualize Joy with Vytas
When you’ve got the holiday blues, smiling or feeling happy seems like something from a faraway, distant land. Vytas brings you back to Earth with this meditation by lifting your spirits and boosting your mood.
#4 Inviting Ease with DeAndre Sinette
Take just eight minutes to invite some ease into your life. This meditation is great when you feel like releasing some of that bent up holiday season stress!
#5 Visualize Calmness with DeAndre Sinette
When you’re stressed, you can’t help but worry about the future, which can then send you down an anxiety spiral. Use this visualize calmness mediation with DeAndre to just invite some calm into your day and re-center.
#6 Rejuvenating Rest with Amanda Gilbert
Holiday overwhelm can lead to racing thoughts right as you’re trying to sleep. The rejuvenating rest meditation with Amanda uses serene wave visualization to settle you into relaxation. Ahhhh, I can see the waves already!
#7 Happiness Hit with Amanda Gilbert
Start your day or take a break from your busy to-do list with this quick happiness hit meditation with Amanda. It’s a great way to set the tone for more positivity as you go about your daily to-dos! Did we mention it’s just 6 minutes?
Holiday Stress is Real: Take Care of Yourself!
All you can do is the best you can with what you have. So as you enter the holiday season, go gentle on yourself, especially since this year will look different. Maybe try delegating out tasks, like asking your partner to help with the Christmas shopping or making your small holiday party a potluck, so you don’t have to do all of the cooking.
And if you can, schedule out time for yourself. Meditate, take a bath, journal, go for a walk– whatever you can do in the moment. Every minute of self-care counts! There’s no wrong way to do it.