A guide to a stress-free festive season

30 November 2017 - Mindful Practices

The end-of-year festivities may be wonderful but the happy season is not without its challenges. The long gift list can quickly turn from fun to stressful, and the parties to plan and attend may begin to feel rather draining. On top of that, we have to juggle our usual workload and plan for the year ahead. Some of us may also feel the sting of loneliness if we aren’t able to enjoy the festivities with loved ones.

Fortunately, there are various ways to inject some calm into the busy holiday season.

Tip 1: Don’t overcommit.

“Yes, why not?” may seem like the natural response to everything during the festive season, but attending ten parties in a row may quickly go from fun to overwhelming.

If you prefer a good balance of solitude and community, say yes only to what’s truly meaningful to you. Saying no to someone’s party isn’t a rejection—you can still spend time with them throughout the coming year. 

Check out our 5 tips on how to say no with ease.

Tip 2: Block out personal time.

Attending event after event leaves less time for ourselves and the people and things we care about. It also throws us off our usual routines, which may be stressful for some.

Taking control of your schedule by blocking out personal time can do a lot for your wellbeing. That way, you’re sure of your priorities and have good reason to say no to invitations when you need to. Try sticking to your usual routine as much as possible—it’ll ground and calm you during the festive season, and make it less difficult to get back to the grind after.

Tip 3: Find community.

The festive season tends to heighten feelings of loneliness if you aren’t able to celebrate with loved ones. It doesn’t help that social media shows us photos after photos of parties and gatherings.

• Remember that occasions like birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s Day are expected to be special because of the arbitrary weight we assign to them. After all, they are but ordinary days that simply remind us to appreciate the people around us. Do that on a daily basis and you’ll naturally find community.

• If you feel alone during the holiday season, the Internet’s got your back. #JoinIn, a wonderful initiative by comedian Sarah Millican, allows people to find company on Twitter during Christmas. Or try Option B, a site dedicated to helping us build mental resilience. It offers tons of simple tips and tricks for holiday self-care.

• Redirect your attention by giving back. Visit your local soup kitchen or shelter and connect with the people there. It’ll help keep things in perspective too.

Unplug.

If you're lucky enough to be surrounded by loved ones but would like to show support for those separated from family or coping with loss, Option B has tons of resources to show you how. The smallest gesture makes a difference!

Tip 4: Forget about perfect and be present.

Our expectations of the festive season tend to be sky-high. But like any other day, things rarely go to plan—your party may not be perfect, or you may get into a fight with your mom on Christmas Day.

It’s helpful to take a step back to remind yourself about what truly matters so that you don’t get caught up in your expectations. Forget the “should’s” and ask yourself what you really need.

Here's wishing you a calm and meaningful festive season!

- The Mindful Company Team