The holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you're traveling. Airports are packed, traffic is heavy, and literally every store looks like the apocalypse is coming. So in a sea of chaos, how do you keep your calm? Here's a few simple tips that help me out!
1. Go with the Flow
Sure, you have plans. But get ready for them to all go out the window. Things get cancelled, people run late, and it's all fine. When plans change, you have the choice to stress over it or to go with it. "Be water, my friend" has been my mantra lately. It's a quote from Bruce Lee. When I feel myself getting stressed, I think about how water flows around obstacles rather than ramming into them. I highly recommend listening to the Bruce Lee podcast all about this exact quote and how to apply it, not only during the holidays but anytime you find yourself facing a conflict.
2. Give Yourself Time & Space
Try not to expect the world to run according to your plans. Leave some space in your schedule for longer lines, heavier traffic, and delayed flights. Get to the airport two hours early. You know the lines will be five times longer, why not be ready for it? If you think you're taking a quick trip to the grocery store, think again. Plan for parking to take longer, expect longer lines, and don't be disappointed if your five minute trip takes 25 minutes.
3. Use Aromatherapy
Carry some essential oils with you. You can buy roll on essential oils at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or through doTerra. Lavender is wonderful for soothing anxiety and also helps you sleep. I like sandalwood as well which is great for grounding. Peppermint is energizing and great for days when you need a little pick me up. Roll some onto your wrists and take a few deep breaths in.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Honor your daily yoga and meditation practice. If you have to shorten it, that's perfectly fine. But make sure that you take the time for yourself. My family can attest to the fact that I am not myself if I haven't practiced. Tame the beast. Practice yoga.
5. And Practice Some More
This is also an incredible time to practice your off the mat yoga. Catch yourself when you're not in the moment. Practice ahimsa, compassion, towards everyone you interact with. And yes, that means the woman behind you in line complaining loudly about where she has to be. A Buddhist monk once told me a story about how he was in Target and the line was quite long and someone a few people behind him was complaining out loud to herself about the line, the employees, anything she could find to whine about. So he asked her if she would like to cut him in line. It probably made the difference of a few minutes. But after that she stopped complaining. Sometimes people don't know how they sound. They don't realize they're making things worse for everyone around them. And you have the opportunity to be compassionate and allow them to experience compassion. Do it with kindness. It's too easy to get sucked into that stressed out mindset. Notice when your thoughts and your body get pulled into unnecessary suffering and anchor yourself back into the moment. Be with your breath. Feel your feet in your shoes and the sensation of clothing on your skin. Get grounded and find stillness within yourself. This is your living yoga practice.
I hope you all have a super chill and magical holiday! I'd love to hear from you! Share how you keep your cool during the holiday season with me below in the comments!