It’s important to take the time and enjoy being in the company of our family and friends, especially during the holidays.  We can’t do this when we are overwhelmed. Instead, we often end up disconnecting instead of connecting and not paying attention to what we really need.  Body tension increases, and if we stop for a moment, we might even realize that we aren’t even breathing.  

3 Simple Techniques to Stop Holiday Overwhelm 

Stress-Reducing Breathing 

This takes less than 60 seconds.  Try to do it about 3-5 times daily to notice a sizeable difference.  Breathe in through your nose, counting to 3, then exhale through your mouth, counting to 3.  Repeat 3 times.  

Now count to 5 for each inhales/exhale, remember in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Repeat 3 times. 

This helps access our parasympathetic nervous system and allows our brain to calm and be present in the moment.  

Quick Shoulder Tension Release

You can do this simple technique standing or sitting.  Inhale and lift your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for 1 second.  Then exhale and slowly release them, letting them drop away. Repeat 2-3 times.  

Next do shoulder circles, rolling your shoulders forward, up, back, and down, breathing in and out as needed.  (Please, no holding your breath!) Repeat this 3 times and then reverse.  

Stay Connected 

Instead of withdrawing because of fatigue, try asking for more help from others.  This seems like it would come naturally, yet many people unconsciously choose to overwhelm themselves and never ask for help.  

Ask for help preparing food, grocery shopping, and straightening up the house.  Also, make sure you are doing it together and not separately, because this creates a feeling of connection and support.  It also allows things to get done quicker, leaving more time for hanging out and having great conversations.  

The holiday season can be so overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be!  I urge you to try these three simple techniques and feel the stress and tension drift away, while your mood instantly lifts and everything looks brighter.