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Ok, so you’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season and you’re feeling all the feelings: overwhelm, excitement, exhaustion, depression, loneliness, and all the pressures that work, family, and the gift-buying holidays provide. And while you’re a person committed to your well-being, health, gratitude, joy, and family, this holiday stress has you off your game!
As a Performance Coach, I support people to live full, satisfied, authentic, loving, and thriving lives—both personally and professionally. This becomes extra challenging during the holiday season.
Here are my 5-best de-stressing ways to empower your well-being, get back to your best self, and create joy, love, and appreciation over the holiday season.
Be grateful. First off it’s free, so there’s that. Studies show that practicing gratitude can decrease stress, reduce anxiety, and increase happiness by as much as 10%. I do my favorite gratitude practice while having my morning coffee. While the pots brewing I write down five things I’m grateful for and why. For example, I’m grateful for my healthy body because it enables me to live joyfully and do so many of the things I love. I’m grateful for the sunshine because it makes me feel warm and so many people are freezing right now.
Find 30 minutes to 1 hour a day just for you. That means stepping away from work, the kids, your partner, and chores, to read, get a massage, nap, meditate, or just stare at your popcorn ceiling while breathing. If you aren’t taking a little time for you everything else becomes more challenging.
Forgive yourself and forgive others. I mean it’s the holidays. It’s a great time to look back and see who or what you’re holding stuff on. Meaning who are you using precious energy not forgiving. See forgiveness isn’t about other people it’s about you. Not forgiving is exhausting and draining and leaves us unhappy. So take a look at your life and see who you are willing to forgive. Maybe say a little prayer, meditate, or just tell yourself that you forgive them for whatever they did and let it go. Maybe even wish them well or tell them you forgive them and that you love them. Forgiving someone doesn’t make what they did alright, it simply lets you stop carrying it around.
Give gifts from your heart. Are you worried about how much things cost and forgetting that the holidays aren’t about going broke but showing people how much we care and love them? Notice the motivation behind your gift buying and try and return to gifting from love.
Be nice to yourself. We are often our harshest critics. Listen to the voices in your head and catch them when they are being destructive. I like to tell myself I love myself. I also like to practice treating myself as I’d treat a child or a puppy. It might seem silly but it feels great.
Remember, your life is simply a reflection of your thoughts, your words, and your actions. So be intentional about living it.