The holidays can be a stressful & overwhelming time for many in a year that we aren't battling a global pandemic. So, adding that icing to the cake, what can you do to ease the anxiety around the holidays this year? Here are three tricks to calm your soul heading into the holiday season and out of one wild year.
Affirmations. This may seem like a weird tip, but affirmations, mantras and visualizations are a powerful tool to get your mind in the game. This can be as simple as telling yourself every morning, "I am a calm and confident person" or visualizing yourself remaining calm during Christmas Eve dinner. Tell your brain what you want it to do and how you want your body to react. If you envision it going poorly, over and over, you are training your mind that it is supposed to go poorly. What if I said "Don't think about a purple castle." What happens? You do it! Your brain cannot differentiate between do and don't, so stay positive and tell yourself how you want it to go. Unfortunately, you can't control other people's behavior, but you can control how you perceive events, how you maintain composure and how you let things affect you.
Take a break. You are allowed to walk into another room or go on a walk to take a break. If things feel very overwhelming and you need to gather yourself before saying or doing something big, take a breath and excuse yourself for a few minutes. When on your break, listen to some calming music (I think the holidays, and childbirth, are what Trevor Oswalt was made for...?). Take big breaths into your chest (or wherever you are feeling that anxious feeling) and imagine breathing the anxiety or tension right out of your body.
Stay Home. Maybe this is the year to give yourself the gift you've always dreamt of? You'll never have an excuse quite as good as Covid to stay home, snuggle into some pajamas and chill on the couch. It's okay to take a year off, if you'd like. Enjoy the peace, quiet & easy clean up. (:
If you choose to celebrate with family, remember: mindset is everything, people aren't usually malicious and love comes in a complicated package. Sending warm holiday vibes your way!