10 ways to have a more mindful holiday season, limited unwanted holiday stress, & enjoy the present moment!
As we quickly approach my favorite time of year, I wanted to share 10 ways to have a more mindful holiday season! Although the holidays are usually a very fun & exciting time of year, they can also bring upon a lot of unwanted stress, little sleep, long to-do lists, busy days, & more! I wanted to share these 10 specific ways to approach the 2020 holiday season with a little more mindfulness in order to help you avoid unwanted holiday stress, so that you’re really able to enjoy the present moment, hopefully surrounded by your loved ones, & making the most out of the time spent together!
Becoming more mindful is going to look a bit different for everyone, but I truly believe in the power of our thoughts & living our lives with more intention over all. I don’t know about you, but I feel like this year has flown by & usually the holiday season doesn’t slow up, so it’s a perfect time to really tune in, be present, be thoughtful of where you exert your energy, & make necessary shifts to take care of yourself, so that you’re able to really enjoy each day as it comes!
Below are a few ways that I plan on or have already started implementing into my own day to day life & wanted to share them with you all in case you’re able to take a bit of inspiration & use it to cultivate your own mindful holiday season practice! And remember, becoming more mindful is very simple & seriously just takes a shift in your thought patterns or decisions, so no need to overcomplicate it!
How to Have a More Mindful Holiday Season!
1. Become A More Conscious Consumer
Becoming a conscious consumer is basically the idea of becoming more mindful of the companies you support, in this case, during the holiday season, where spending is at an all-time high!
Here are a few ways to be more mindful of your spending this holiday season:
- Shop sustainably – only buy what you need!
- Support companies with a larger mission, like certified B-corporations! Every dollar spent is a vote towards change!
- Look for sustainable or recyclable packaging, reuse boxes, bows, & gift bags when possible!
- Shop second hand or regift an item that you already have but no longer have a need for!
- Create a budget & stick to it!
- Support small businesses!
- Opt for non-toxic alternatives when possible!
2. Let Go Of Expectations
The holidays are easily consumed by expectations regarding how things should go, where people should be, what conversations need to be had, who’s cooking, who’s in charge of what, etc.! Anyone who has ever been a part of any holiday celebration or gathering may find themselves familiar with the expectation of having it go a certain way – good OR bad!
Especially given the turn of events this past year – hello COVID19 – I think it’s due time to let go of those expectations, often because they contribute to unwanted stress & sometimes even disappointment which of course, no one wants! My advice surrounding holiday expectations is to simply let them go! Let go of what you feel like you “should” be doing & just do whatever feels right for you & if you have a family, of course modify that to incorporate what feels good for you all as a unit!
3. Be Mindful of Your Time & Energy
Often the holiday season just becomes a blur due to so many things going on! It’s quite easy to get caught up in the days flying by! During the holidays especially, there are often many areas that require our time & attention. And if you’re anything like myself, you may even find yourself overcommitting (which I’ll go over a little more down below), which is VERY easy to do!
I encourage you to be mindful of your time & acknowledge when you need space to reset & recharge. And recharging looks different for everyone, maybe that’s going for a walk, doing some yoga, talking a nap or a bath, reading, meditating, calling a friend, taking some time alone, etc.
And at least for me, there’s nothing like quite like cozying up with a hot cup of tea when the weather get cold, while wearing some comfy loungewear! The noble purple loungewear set I’m wearing in the photos is from adidas & is part of their essentials collection! I’m obsessed with the fit of the elongated quarter zip sweatshirt & the matching linear sweatpants! This adidas essentials set has been my go-to on cozy days when I’m staying home & recharging but it’s definitely cute enough to be worn out as well!
Cozy outfits that just feel good to wear, a cup of hot tea, a little yoga flow, a good charcoal face mask, & clean hair really does hit the nail on the head for me! It’s the little things..I swear! Something so small can make you feel so good & instantly recharged, which is always a good thing!
4. Spend Time Reflecting
Like I just mentioned…time flies. Especially during the holidays. Remember to slow down & document it in a way that feels best! Whether you enjoy journaling, taking pictures/videos, scrapbooking, or posting on social media, do it! Because one day those photos/videos/words are going to mean everything!
Another thing I like to do for short-term reflection is to use Sunday’s as my day of the week to plan ahead for the upcoming week & to also reflect on the past week. It might feel insignificant at the time, but I think there can always be a little something that you can take away from a bit of time spent reflecting.
5. Keep Stress Levels at Bay
The holidays can be mentally & physically draining for a multitude of reasons, which may lead to an abundance of added stress. Everyone experiences stress in different ways but what matters is how we are able to manage & move through our stressors. I recently listened to a podcast where a healer was talking about the ways stress, emotions, & trauma, can be trapped within our bodies & then instead of being released, is manifested into awful things like physical pain, internal issues, & disease. The episode was so interesting & I truly believe that stress causes many things to go “wrong” if not taken care of in a healthy & mindful way!
Here’s a few practices that may assist with healthy stress management during the holiday season:
- Essential Oils
- Mindset Shifts
- Seeking outside help
- A diet change
6. Move Your Body
Working out is at an all-time high during the warmer months, but once the weather starts getting cold, it can be hard committing to a workout routine, especially once the holidays start kicking into high gear! There’s so much that goes on, finding time to workout or get movement in sometimes just feels impossible!
If you can relate to the busyness of the holiday season interfering with your workouts or even your health, don’t be afraid to schedule your workouts into your daily or weekly planner! That’s what I have to do! Seeing it in my planner helps keep me accountable! So jot your workout down, in your phone, on a whiteboard, in a physical planner, wherever makes sense for you & use that as your reminder to move!
I don’t know about you but adding movement into my day instantly makes my body AND mind, feel just amazing & it really helps set the tone for the rest of my day! Even if it’s just going for a brisk 15 minute walk & feeling the cold air on your face, can be so refreshing & rejuvenating! Getting outside, practicing deep breathing, running, walking, moving, etc. is SO good for overall stress management as well!
I’ve really enjoyed wearing my adidas COLD.RDY Training Jacket & Alphaskin COLD.RDY Long Tights outside lately! They’re perfect for any outdoor activity & the leggings especially are my new go-to leggings for yoga! I love a good high waist band & really like how they have a compression fit, so I don’t have to worry about continuously having to pull them up! Both the jacket & the long tights leggings are SO warm too, which is definitely a necessity this time of year & paired with my all black Ultraboost 20 Core Shoes…safe to say I’m obsessed! And if you are a runner, definitely check out the Ultraboosts – they’re a dream for any runner thanks to their motion capture technology & responsive cushioning! Plus they’re made out of recycled materials – remember when I mentioned becoming a more conscious consumer!? 😉
7. Don’t Overcommit
Be mindful of where you are committing yourself over the busy holiday months. No one benefits when we spread ourselves too thin. It’s okay to say no to things, which is a great reminder for “yes” people like myself haha! We don’t have to do it all, to be doing a good job!
8. Create New Traditions & Practice Ones That Bring You Joy
Wrapping presents, enjoying good food, decorating, & baking cookies, have always been some of my favorite traditions surrounding the holiday season! No matter what the traditions in your family or life may look like, make sure to practice them! Traditions can be so enjoyable & know that it’s okay to make new ones too – sometimes the new traditions might even take the place of the older ones! Whatever tradition brings you joy – do it, & include others in that joy too!
9. Schedule In Self-Care
In order to have a more mindful holiday season this year, don’t forget about self care! Self care is important year-round, but ESPECIALLY during the holidays because as I mentioned, stress & emotions can be running high PLUS add in everything we have to do surrounding the holiday season, it’s no wonder the holiday season runs so many people down! So stay on top of it & make a weekly effort to do a little something extra to take care our yourself physically, mentally, or do something for both!
Below are a few great ways to practice self care during the holiday season:
- Declutter an area in your home – check out this post on 100+ ways to declutter!
- Spend time decorating with a loved one.
- Make time to move your body in a way that feels good for you!
- Practice gratitude – check out this post for some tips on practicing gratitude!
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
- Enjoy eating good, nourishing food, & drink lots of water!
- Determine a holiday budget & stick to it!
- Read a book – I’m currently reading “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
- Get creative & make something homemade!
- Light a candle & take a hot bath!
10. Practice Intuitive Eating & Plan Meals Accordingly
Ahh finally! I’ve been taking an intuitive eating approach to the food I eat for almost two years now since going vegan! The holidays can be a stressful time for people food-wise because most likely they are consuming more than usual, resulting in weight gain, low energy, poor skin, etc! I think having a gentle approach to the food we consume is so powerful especially during the holiday season! It’s okay to enjoy holiday meals with the ones you love & not feel guilty about it!
And on the other hand, stress can also occur if you experience food intolerances or allergies like being celiac or if you have a certain way of eating preference like being vegan! Not only am I vegan, but I’m also gluten free. This more often than not, takes some planning & preparation on my end, since not every dish served at a holiday gathering is catered towards my dietary needs! I am totally okay with this too & if you are able to relate, I’m sure you know the feeling! Not everything has to be allergen friendly or plant based but by bringing a few dishes or desserts that you too can enjoy, it makes a world of a difference & ensures the day/meal time can be enjoyed by all!
Need of some gluten free or vegan holiday meal ideas & desserts?
- 50 Healthy Gluten Free & Vegan Thanksgiving Day Recipes
- 25 Gluten Free & Vegan Christmas Cookie Recipes
If you’ve been thinking of ways to become more mindful this holiday season, I hope these 10 suggestions can point you in the right direction! And if having a mindful holiday season isn’t something you’ve ever considered, I hope to have inspired you to make a least one mindful shift over the next few months – even if it’s just something small like putting your phone away & enjoying the present moment, doing a little holiday self-care, or wanting to become a more conscious consumer – it all matters, but doesn’t have to be done perfectly in order to make a difference!
How are you going to be more mindful this holiday season? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Thank you to adidas for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts & opinions remain my own.