Tara Paparo, CAC, ICADC | Alumni Care Coordinator
During this time of year, we can have many emotions. Are you not feeling particularly cheery? Or are you feeling overjoyed? You might even be going back and forth. You’re not alone.
Many find that the holidays bring as much stress as joy. But there are ways to ease through the season and keep yourself feeling peaceful even if you have some chaos or stress around you. Staying mindful and in tune with your feelings and having some tools in your toolbox is key.
Mindfulness is bringing your attention to the present moment with an element of nonjudgement and acceptance. Whether you celebrate with a large family or a small group, here are helpful hints on staying in a great headspace:
Imperfection is healthy and normal. Things may not go as you have precisely planned, and it’s OK if it’s not perfect. This may take some practice on your part, but it is something you can teach yourself slowly over time. Appreciate others’ individuality. Their flaws may make them different from everyone else, but that’s a good thing! Stay positive! Attempting to find something positive in a person that you may typically not spend a lot of time with can be a challenge, but why not challenge yourself to be more open? You might surprise yourself.
Keep Sight of What Counts
We can become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season: one more gift to buy, a new outfit, long lines, and traffic jams. Don’t let these things spoil your day. Prepare for encountering these frustrations and ask, “How can I use this as an opportunity to reflect?” Remind yourself of the good things that happened today or the things for which you are grateful.
Respond with Kindness
Your reaction to all situations is entirely up to you. You can’t change how others act during the stresses of the holiday season, but you can respond in a way that gives you peace. Some people are challenging to be around because they are unhappy or suffering. If possible, attempt to be more compassionate or extend an act of kindness. It could soften your frustration. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are uncomfortable, take a few deep breaths. Those breaths can shift your way of thinking and give you a new perspective.
Happy Holidays to all!
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