During the stress of the holiday season, our moods and awareness can be far from peaceful. There will be moments…long moments…stretching into days…and maybe even weeks…that will be overwhelming, and stressful.

Where instead of noticing the softness of the morning light, we are in our heads and filled with anxiety of the upcoming day, the family stress, the to-do list, not entirely sure how we’re going to survive the day. That’s okay and normal, I can safely say that we all go through that at some point this season (and all other seasons…).

When our heads are spinning and our minds feel like they might explode, it’s a sign that we need to take a time out, to take a few deep breaths and reset. If you can, step outside and go for a conscious walk, breathe in fresh air, and notice, without judgement, your surroundings.

Sometimes taking a walk isn’t an option, or doesn’t seem like one, especially when we are swimming in the overwhelming chaos. So if you can’t get outside to clear your head, find a space inside for yourself (use the bathroom or a closet if you have to…I have been there…many times), sit down, and just breathe.

Remind yourself: I will survive this, so far my track record is 100%.

5 Ways to Stay Calm This Holiday Season:

1. Make a commitment to you:
What is something you do that you love, that brings you happiness? Do you like to read a good book, do yoga, take a bath, go for a walk, cook with your favorite tunes on? Write down a list of a few things you love to do just for you and make a promise to yourself that you will make time every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to take time for you. Here is the Rockstar Guide to Self Care to help you incorporate more self care into your life!

2. Be Realistic:
The holidays are wonderful…and stressful. Period. It’s not the same as going to the Spa for a massage. Give yourself permission to recognize that this is how it is, and use that energy that you were spending on wondering why this season is chaotic and instead put the energy into spending time taking care of you.

3. Stay Present:
Family driving you crazy? Taking a few deep breaths might be exactly what you need to find a reset button. First, find an anchor in the house to remind you to breath. Maybe it’s every time you notice the star at the top of your Christmas Tree you take three deep breaths. Or anytime you turn on the oven to cook that yummy meal, take a breath!

4. Plan for Hugs:
What is your plan if things get way too overwhelming? As in kids bouncing off the walls, dinner burning with 15 guests coming over in 5 minutes…. You might need a hug, or 2…or 10. Give yourself permission to ask for lots of love this holiday season. If you know that a holiday event might be stressful, make a plan to call a friend, a sponsor, or bring someone along for hugs and love.

5. Find Time to Meditate:
A daily practice of mindfulness meditation decreases stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, and regulates the mind for peace and clarity. Just a few minutes of belly breathing can dramatically increase our ability to feel safe and connect to those around us.

What helps you stay calm during the holidays?! 

Lindy Ariff, LCSW is the founder of I AM A ROCKSTAR. She is a Rockstar, a clinically trained social worker, certified hypnotherapist, and healing professional. She has nurtured and guided hundreds of clients in aligning mind, body, and soul. You can connect with her on the Contact page on I AM A ROCKSTAR.  Visit her blog and connect with her at HealwithLindy.com.