Holiday Fear or Holiday Cheer?

Eggnog, mistletoe, gifts under a tree. The winter holiday season is filled with delights—until it’s not. If you’re dreading the end of the year, consider these mindful strategies to help you through.

Illustrations by Paula McGloin
Pace yourself

What could be a time of serious rest and relaxation so often becomes just another race to get things done. Here’s a few tips to keep things on an even keel.

For five minutes, four times a day, stop briefly. (Even set these pauses in your phone or digital calendar.) Bring your attention to your breath and body in the moment, just as they are. And no need to think about your to-do list—it’ll still be there when you’re done.

Try passing on a few invitations this year. Pick one or two events that hold special meaning or importance, and enjoy the extra time that opens up in your schedule.

If you’re the host, consider a holiday potluck. It’s an opportunity for folks to share a meaningful recipe, and allows you to actually enjoy your company instead of stressing out over all that food preparation.

The pressure we put on ourselves to find the “perfect” gifts—the same ones that just add to the receivers’ mounds of stuff—can be a real killjoy. The focus on the thing can eclipse actually connecting with the people we’re buying for. This year, how about considering that the perfect present might just be your presence?

If you can…

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