Exhausted, anxious, depressed, angry—does this describe you during the holidays? If so, it's completely understandable. Even though the holiday activities can be fun, you might often find yourself trying to balance your day-to-day routine simultaneously, which can be overwhelming. All in all, a majority of adults become stressed over something during the holidays.
It's not impossible to get through these emotions though. With the appropriate holiday mantras, you can change your perspective on a situation to think more positively, and feel more at ease.
Below are 10 holiday mantras to help you experience the holidays with love and joy that comes from humbleness and self-acceptance. Some are more general, and others relate to more unique situations, so write down and memorize the mantras that work best for you!
Thoughtful presents cannot substitute conscious presence.
Don't get me wrong. A thoughtful present received from someone who really understands you is a beautiful sign of love. If the person is far away, make the effort to talk with them on the phone or have a face-to-face conversation on Skype. Connection is a mutual experience that is much more enjoyable than giving and receiving material goods.
I stay collected and calm with large groups of people.
If you're the type to feel social anxiety around a lot of people you don't know, this one’s for you! Repeat this holiday mantra to yourself and mentally visualize what being calm and collected looks like before going into the situation. This preparation will help keep your anxiety at bay during those large family gatherings and holiday parties.
I accept people for who they are without judgement.
This one can be hard, but if you're at a party or family gathering and are around someone who you strongly disagree with, don't let it upset you. People will believe what they think based on their personal life experiences. Accept that they are who they are and that you don't need to agree with each other, nor do you need to be close friends with them. By not getting emotionally attached to the situation, you can enjoy your time with people you relate to instead of focusing on feeling uncomfortable with those who offend you.
I am grateful that I have (list 3-5 things and people) this holiday season.
Practicing gratitude is useful to do on a daily basis, but it's especially important during stressful times. Instead of comparing your holiday plans with your boss’ or friend's, go inward and express gratitude for what you have during this holiday season. I recommend choosing the top three to five to prevent overwhelm and stay focused, but you can list more if it's called to you.
I have the inner-strength to excuse myself from negative social interactions.
Rather than the aim being to accept those with opposing views or personalities, it’s more about finding the inner strength to politely walk away from a situation that you can't help but be bothered by. If you are feeling offended, sad, or angry, it is healthy to seek time alone or friends and family that you feel comfortable with.
l eat decadent food and drinks in moderation.
Delicious yet sugary and satisfying yet fatty—these meals are often shared during the holidays. When we overindulge, we can feel sick and tired, but in moderation, we can enjoy the flavor, feel a boost of happiness and become energized. This mantra can help you practice balanced eating if you tend to overeat, or if you are often afraid to indulge during the holidays.
I nourish my body with nutrient-dense food and water during the holiday season.
While it is beneficial to indulge once in a while, it's important to eat mineral- and vitamin-packed meals on a daily basis to keep your body functioning at its highest capacity. Also, since people often get sick during the winter time, it's especially important to eat vitamin rich foods to boost your immune system and fight off the annual flu. Say this mantra to remind yourself to eat healthily on a regular basis and not eat too many leftover desserts!
My to-do list is prioritized by my personal values.
If you find that people tend to pressure you into prioritizing what they want done, rather than what you think is most important, practice this mantra. The holiday season is a busy time because you're balancing day-to-day life in addition to holiday activities and errands. If you put other people's wishes before your own on a regular basis, you're going to feel stressed and powerless. Empower yourself.
I healthfully remember loved ones who have passed during previous holiday seasons.
The holiday season is a time of celebration and togetherness, and while it is normal to grieve over a loved one, it's best done in a healthy way. Instead of spending the whole season isolating yourself and thinking about this person, take time with your family or close friends to remember this person and share positive memories. This way, you can remember those who have passed, while also staying present with the loved ones that are currently in your life.
I forgive those who have hurt me in the past during holiday gatherings.
Unfortunately, arguments can sometimes break out during the holidays. People may start to drink alcohol and say cruel falsehoods. There may be greed or jealousy about gifts. Forgiveness allows us to keep our mental health intact though. By forgiving people who have hurt you, you are not excusing them for doing wrong, but you are allowing yourself to let go of the painful emotions. Practice this mantra to help feel forgiveness.