Mindfulness During Holidays with Dr. Rachna

Dr. Rachna Buxami crop photo

Written by: Dr. Rachna Buxani-Mirpuri, LMHC, NCC, BC-TMH

Holidays, while joyous, can be stressful times for many. Family gatherings, planning, meal prepping, and tireless conversations can leave people feeling exhausted. Mindfulness is the art of focusing on the present moment rather than what we are conditioned to do, the past or the future. It is also the acceptance of situations without judgment. Mindfulness practices can help us enjoy holiday moments with our loved ones.

Some ways of being mindful during holidays are:

  • Mindful listening: When we have conversations, we are often plagued with our own biases and judgments. Mindful listening shows people around you that you care and are genuinely interested in them and their lives. 
  • Be non-judgmental about expectations of what and how the celebrations need to turn out. Enjoy the moments for what they are rather than what you wanted them to be. 
  • Remind yourself of what is in your control. A family member who is being difficult might not be in your control. However, your reaction to him is. Reacting with kindness to even the most troublesome people and reminding yourself not to take things personally will help navigate difficult situations. 
  • Be mindful of your own feelings and frustrations. Reach out for support when and if you need it. Practice coping strategies that help you feel better, like eating right, sleeping well, exercising, or meditation. 
  • Learn to say “no” when you are feeling overwhelmed. Friends, colleagues, and family will understand if you cannot make it to every celebration or work commitment. 
  • If you are alone on holidays, reach out to community, religious and social groups to see if you can attend events that can help you feel connected. 

Identifying triggers early on and building coping mechanisms can help ensure that holiday stressors prevent us from enjoying the festive season. Holidays have their ups and downs; however, mindfulness practices can help us enjoy our ups and navigate our downs to find peace and happiness during this joyful time.  

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