The holidays can be a time of great joy. For some, it means spending time with beloved friends and family and cherishing our memories together even as we move toward a new year with new memories to be formed. But—let’s be honest: the holidays aren’t always a free-for-all of fun and togetherness. In fact, some people find the winter holiday season to be the most stressful time of year of all.
It seems many people have holiday-related memories that they would rather forget, and pairing this with the usual stress of finding the right gifts for the right person, financial worries, or other concerns can yield a whole lot of heartache during the holiday season. People cope with these stressors in different ways: for some, it means cutting ties with toxic people—which in itself can be painful and bring up mixed feelings—and for others, it means putting on a smile and trying to get through the bad for the sake of the good.
One thing that many people find to be helpful during the winter holidays is staying keenly focused on today, this present moment, as we go about trying to balance our enjoyment of the holidays with the distinctive stressors that seem to always come along with them. By focusing on what you can do today about today instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past, you can bring some solace to your mind—and maybe even a little bit of hope to your heart.
The holiday seasons doesn’t have to be pure stress and dread. By making an effort to stay in the moments as they happen, you can appreciate the “little things” and let go of bigger things—like resentments over the past and anxieties over the future—and finally find some happiness hiding within the stress of the holidays.