3 Steps to a Resilient Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for celebration but can also be a trying time, both emotionally and mentally. Here’s how to strengthen your capacity for resilience and connect with what really matters.

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Are you starting to wonder what celebrating the holidays will look like this year? No matter where you are, you may be anticipating more intimate gatherings, virtual get-togethers, or smaller gift exchanges. And while we may be used to holiday plans bringing up some feelings of stress and overwhelm—it’s okay if this year feels more stressful and overwhelming than usual. 

Even now, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking everything has to be perfect, which of course, is not possible. How we choose to meet this realization can ultimately determine our well-being. We can allow ourselves to feel what we need to feel if this season is difficult. We can choose self-compassion when things don’t go as planned. And by doing so, we can strengthen our capacity for resilience and connect with what really matters.

3 Practices to Build Resilience

1. Let yourself shift into a place of feeling more at ease. It’s tempting to put off self-care in pursuit of getting your presents wrapped, house ready, and COVID-friendly holiday plans lined up. Remember to take the time you need for yourself. Try this three-step mindfulness practice from Cara Bradley—moving, breathing, and sitting—to come back to your body, especially in the next few weeks.

2. Be kind to yourself. Elisha Goldstein says, it’s important to keep an open heart toward yourself. As we begin to navigate the new ways we’ll be connecting and celebrating, we can lean on Goldstein’s three steps for a resilient holiday season: expect to stray, don’t judge, refocus. 

3. Make time for daily practices from now until the new year. Your day-to-day activities offer ample opportunities to call up mindfulness at any moment. Taking the time to mindfully reflect on what matters, helps us to keep our perspective and strengthen resilience. Try these simple practices to breathe space into your daily routines.

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Mental Health

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  • Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson
  • May 9, 2018