By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO of Kent Business Solutions
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” goes the old Christmas carol. For a lot of people, they look forward to the holidays. But for many, it’s often the worst of times. The first Christmas song on the radio can cause a sense of dread in the stoutest hearts of some people.
As we all know, the holiday season can magnify family issues during get-togethers. Others don’t have loving families or friends to surround them, and they feel lonely and isolated. Some may feel stressed because of so many added activities to their plates. And when you throw in work responsibilities, it can be a lot to handle.
So, what’s a person to do to successfully navigate the holidays without losing their mind?
Here are three tips to help you do just that:
1. Permit Yourself to Carve Out Some “Me” Time
This idea is especially helpful for those who feel stressed with too many responsibilities or have strained relationships. It’s easier said than done! Sometimes the root issue is that we believe it’s an unattainable luxury. In those instances, the solution can be as simple as permitting ourselves to carve out this time and then actually doing it. Doing so looks different for each person. It could be taking a run through a park or reading a book at a coffee shop. I suggest that you make arrangements with your family members, significant other, etc., to do this and then actually follow through.
2. Breathe Deep
I recently ran across the Wim Hof Method of deep breathing to reduce stress and increase mindfulness. I was skeptical at first until I tried it myself, and it works! This method helps clear out brain noise or chatter to think clearer and be more at peace. It’s allowed me to fall asleep faster, which is a welcome benefit to calm my sometimes overactive brain.
If you’re not interested in trying this method, spending time rhythmically breathing deep breaths can help calm you down and get more centered.
3. Practice an Attitude of Gratitude
This approach is helpful for everyone, especially those who fall into the feeling-isolated category. Since I’m single, I’ve found that being grateful for the little things, even the lonely times, can help me better navigate difficult times.
Notice I said “practice.” It’s not easy to be thankful when you’re amid challenges, but if you can practice being grateful, it can transform your outlook into a more positive one.
I hope these tips can help you in some way, whether you fall into the stressed out, isolated, or both categories. In any case, I wish you the best holiday season, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa!
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