A Simple Practice for Holiday Stress
Welcome to holidays in the Desert where some of the best weather in the country can be found. We are the envy of our neighbors to the east and a frequent getaway for those to the west.
While our lush green lawns and beautiful resorts speak endless vacation, the people of our community are still working hard at balancing life, our jobs, our volunteer commitments, and family. Throw in holiday shopping and a busy social schedule and, just like the rest of the country, our lives can become a little overwhelming.
While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and thankfulness, they can often bring us down. A holiday stress poll by the American Psychological Association shows that up to 67 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time,” 62 percent are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money,” and 51 percent are stressed out about the “pressure to give or get gifts.” What’s worse, 45 percent of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas, according to a 2012 report by NBC News.
So, let’s all take a breath.
We live in paradise and sometimes we simply need to stop and remind ourselves that life is actually pretty good, and there are many things for which we can be thankful. We simply need to take the time to stop, look around, and be thankful.
So this is our modest holiday gift to you – a little mind-altering exercise which can bring about big change. While even the thought of taking time to do this each day may be challenging at first, you will be amazed at how much easier it gets day after day, and how much your mind begins to look forward to these few moments of calm.
Over the next couple of months, take 5 minutes each morning to do this simple exercise:
- Sit comfortably outside with your face in the sun.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly.
- Relax your mind and body.
- Think of one thing for which you are grateful and recognize how focusing on that one thing makes you feel.
Create a time that is convenient for you to awaken your mind and spirit on the crisp, chilly mornings we have this time of year.
Our hope is that this little exercise becomes a lifestyle habit which brings forth a brighter mindset to make future holidays (and every day) the magical, memorable and stress-free time they should be. Wishing you peace this holiday season!