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How to Thrive and Overcome the Stress of the Holiday Season [Free Meditation]

The expectation of being happy and cheerful during the holidays can leave us with a mix of emotions and our reaction to these emotions can turn into stress. Being realistic and owning our feelings are a few ways we can cope with the holidays, but is this enough to stay present, grounded and joyful?

Holiday stress coupled with feelings of overwhelm or anxiety regarding what’s going on in the world can dampen the mood of the holiday season. When you start to feel uneasy about the expectations surrounding the holidays, it is important to recognize the feelings of stress and anxiety that stir up are layered. Keep in mind no matter how much work you’ve done on yourself to break free of your emotional baggage, the past can still find its way back into your present (especially during the holidays).

As you work through your emotions, recognize the multiple layers happening. Take some time to name the emotions you’re feeling so you can be self-aware of what is going on inside. This will help you ground yourself more quickly and give you leverage to keep pushing forward.

Have you already started to feel like it’s hard to stay grounded? You’re not alone. The holidays are a busy time of year and it’s is perfectly normal to feel buried in tasks as you try to manage your time, energy, and emotions.

Before you head out to holiday gatherings and celebrations, I recommend taking a breath, slowing down, and having more compassion for yourself and others. In addition to these tips, here are a few other things you can to do to cope with holiday stress:

Ground Yourself
Being fully present in your body and connected to the Divine can help you clear your mind, be calmer, and recharge your energy. When you are rooted in your body, you will experience less stress and anxiety. There are many exercises you can do to stay grounded, but in a pinch, I recommend simply feeling your feet on the ground, taking deep, full breaths all the way down into your belly and letting a beam of light or tree-trunk image extend from your hips into the ground and sprouting roots. This tree image can help with the feeling of being rooted.

Let Go of Expectations From the Mind
Your mind is a computer and like all computers, it needs to be trained to perform at optimal performance. What usually stops us from being our the best versions of ourselves is the monkey mind, aka the inner critic. When you nurture yourself through mindfulness and meditation, the monkey mind becomes quiet and you stop striving for perfection and unrealistic expectations. During the holidays especially, simplifying your schedule to prevent overcommitting yourself is key. Saying “No” to fun events is hard, but less is more!

Close Your Eyes and Feel Your Heart
A true open heart means the heart is open the front and in the back. When your heart is open in the front, there is a feeling of being more deeply connected with people and your surroundings and awareness of feelings. When it is open in the back, there is a sense of self-love, compassion, and peace. Sitting still, feeling the front and back sides of your heart center, and connecting to the power of love helps move past the limitations of the ego where you can fully accept what is.

Find Gratitude in the Small Moments
Expressing gratitude is an effective way to raise your frequency and mood. By focusing on things you appreciate, you reduce thoughts of negativity creating more clarity and optimism. You may not have huge wins every day, so take the time to acknowledge and reflect on your small successes and simple things in life.

Unplug and Spend Quality Time With the People You Love
In our non-stop world, it is crucial and necessary to break away from our phones and computers to connect with our loved ones. Go for a walk, agree as a family to no phones on the table during meals, play cards or a board game, or think back to your favorite holiday traditions as a kid and bring them back! We are here for a limited amount of time so creating unforgettable memories to cherish for years to come is a must during the holidays.

Guided Meditation
Every day, we are pulled in many directions leaving us exhausted and the holiday season puts us on edge even more than usual. During periods where you find it hard to find balance, listening to a guided meditation can help you find your center again. It is a great way to nurture your soul, reduce depression or anxiety, and improve your overall wellbeing. When holiday stress happens, here is a guided meditation to support you from the School of Intuitive Studies Healers.  We put together this guided meditation as a gift for you this holiday season. Listen below:

Free Grounding and Centering During the Holidays Mediation
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