Monday, December 3, 2018

Minimize Holiday Stress Mindfulness Tips

Holiday Survival

Secrets to Attaining Calm During the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching. Hooray! Or conversely, as Charlie Brown might say, “AAUGH!” 

For all the fun and excitement associated with this time of year, it also can be filled with way too much stress and anxiety. Sure, most people expect to get at least some time off from work, and that seems relaxing enough, but often the holidays can turn into more work and a bigger hassle than our regular day jobs. And that’s especially true for parents, as energy and emotions run high for both adults and our children this time of year. 

Holiday Entertaining

“We put so much work into the holidays," says Tom Corner, a motivational speaker and author of the new book Borrowed Eyes and Feet: Finding Enlightenment After Rage. "Shopping, dealing with long lines, preparing the big holiday meal, and enduring an endless stream of social commitments. We even go so far as mentally gearing up for encounters with that family member who knows how to push our buttons and dampen the holiday spirit. As a result, the holiday sparkle might feel more like a holiday inferno.” 

If you can relate, or know someone else who can use some stress reduction, Corner's mindfulness techniques can help to change your outlook and attitude that bring out negative aspects of the holidays. Ultimately, it can improve the odds that the season of merriment doesn’t deteriorate into a high-pressured occasion overflowing with tension. 

Family Holiday Stress Survival Tips

Five Steps to Alleviating Tension

Corner suggests a simple five-step process to help yourself, or someone you know, manage the heightened energy and emotions that are so common during the holidays and during other times of stress, year round.
  • Pause. Stop everything you are doing.
  • Close your eyes. 
  • Take a deep breath through your nose, with your eyes still closed. Hold it for a moment. Slowly exhale through your mouth.
  • With another breath recite this affirmation to yourself: “I give the gift of love. I receive the gift of love. I am love. All is well in my world.” Feel your body relax. See if you can feel a particular place in your body where you sense relief. Your chest, heart, head, arms, legs. Now open your eyes.
  • Replace that Charlie Brown “AAUGH!” with a more meditative “Ah” or “Om.” 

Expectations of Myself and Others

Now that you’ve cleared your mind, Corner says, don't stop there. Beyond those steps, give yourself some extra credit -- and extra mental help preparing for the weeks ahead  -- by asking yourself three important things.

  • What are my expectations of the people in my life?
  • What are their expectations of me?
  • Are our expectations being met (are they aligned)? 

“The answers to those questions will reveal a new way to look at the world and the people in it,” Corner points out. “Typically, our expectations are misaligned, leading to angst, frustration and sometimes anger.” 

Finally, he says, you should embrace the energy of the holidays. “It is all around you,” Corner concludes. “Everyone shares a similar energy of love and the desire for happiness, but we often get lost and lose sight of what truly matters in life. This is when we can pause, quiet our minds for the slightest moment and realign with the energy of love and happiness. that exists within each of us.”

About Tom Corner

The husband and father of three young daughters, Tom is a motivational speaker and author. He wrote his first book in 2014 and has since published four more titles. His newest book, which parents will especially appreciate, is Borrowed Eyes & Feet. Learn more at as well as by following him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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