5 Holiday Stressors and Mindful Ways To Meet Them

We like to call this the season of OY and JOY! It’s a way to embrace our Jewish roots AND acknowledge that the holidays are mix of all types of emotions, and all of it is welcome.  This can be an exciting time of year, but also an overwhelming time of year where old patterns and behaviors can easily be stirred up. Despite the personal, spiritual, or mindful work we have done, it can feel like we are regressing big time. Ok, we may be projecting:-) We are sharing the five holiday stressors we notice within ourselves and some ways to mindfully meet them. After all, awareness is key, so if we can be aware of when we are being triggered, we can meet the person or circumstance in a more responsive, compassionate and kind way.

Stressor #1: Family Dynamics

Let go of perfection and unrealistic expectations. Recognizing we can’t necessarily change others, try embracing where everyone is and recognize the shared compassion that we all want to be happy, loved, and are doing the best we can.

  • Focus on connection – Looking people in the eye, finding something you appreciate or have a shared belief in.
  • Be respectful + curious – Even if someone has a different viewpoint, practice listening mindfully. Take a breath before responding (vs. reacting)
  • Embrace change – As families change and grow, traditions will as well. Choose a few traditions to hold onto and be open to creating new ones.
  • Practice compassion – For yourself and others. We are all doing the best we consciously know how in any given moment. Let go of trying to fix each other.

Stressor #2: Time Management

Make a “TO BE” list – a list of nourishing activities that you can intersperse while completing your to do list. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be more productive and likely to enjoy the tasks that need to get done.

  • Breathe
  • Take a walk
  • Drink water
  • Enjoy a cup of tea
  • Take a bath or shower
  • Spend time with friends and family (invite them to join you)

Stressor #3: Gift Giving

Identify how you want to “feel” giving the gift and shop from that place (joy, fulfillment, thoughtfulness, etc). Check out our Feel Good Gift Guide that dives deeper into the following mindful giving tips below.  

  • Gift with purpose - Identify socially responsible businesses that give back or have a business model that balances purpose and profit.   
  • Get crafty - DIY gifts flex our creative capacity and ability to be present.
  • Give the gift of giving - Consider donating to a local charity or organization that aligns with your values in the name of a person.
  • Feel good (literally) - Lean into feel good gifts like a weighted blanket, journal, bath salts, or candle. 
  • Give the gift presence - While willingness is key for anyone wanting to cultivate a mindfulness practice for themselves, there are some thoughtful tools that can gently invite people on the journey. Enjoy holiday30 on all Pebbl products which includes free access to Studio Pebbl

Stressor #4: Losing Sight of Meaning

REMOVE SHOULD. Let this year’s reflection be a unique and true expression of your true holiday spirit, not simply an obligation to get through. Be kind and gentle with yourself.  Remember what the holidays are about and try to experience through a child’s eyes or better yet, see everyone as that inner child experiencing the holidays for the first time. Discover the magic and remember the themes of the holiday season.

  • Peace on earth
  • Making time for others
  • Santa Clause/Hanukkah Harry
  • Love
  • Miracles
  • Giving and receiving
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude

Stressor #5: Holiday Blues

It’s natural to miss friends and family who have passed or to focus on what we don’t have.  Simply honor that without trying to change or fix it. Practice self-compassion.

  • OptionB.org is a great resource offering tangible ways to cope through the holidays if you are dealing with a loss. Based on the book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, the website is dedicated to helping you build resilience in the face of adversity—and giving you the tools to help your family, friends, and community build resilience too.
  • Seek out community events, including religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship.
  • Volunteering your time to help others. It’s also a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.