Oh, the holidays. Carols, lights, gifts, shopping, family, parties, food, food and more food.

For even the most grounded person, it’s easy to caught up in the buzz this time of year. The season can bring up a myriad of issues such as stress, obligation, exhaustion, expense and over-indulgence. We’ve all felt that. Even simply being thrown out of routine can cause some feelings of unease.

So: how about this year, we make a conscious intention to enjoy all aspects of the holiday season? To take it in, with a heightened awareness of our boundaries and overextending ourselves?

Instead of anxiously running around focused on crossing everything off of our endless to-do lists…let’s make this season fun and peaceful for ourselves and everyone around us.

Here are our top 5 tips on staying grounded this holiday season.

1. Own Your Experience

It’s important to remember that our holiday season stress does not come from the holidays themselves, but from us. We are the creators of our own experience and this is no different in the last month of the year!

The more we take ownership of this perspective, the more enjoyable life becomes. We’ll naturally stop responding to the season as though we’re victims of holiday chaos, instead experiencing a grounded sense of empowerment.

We can’t always choose the people and circumstances around us, but it is up to us how we relate to them.

This holiday season we have the choice to be frustrated by costs, family members, social obligations, lack of parking (!) and much more. Or… we can choose to immerse ourselves in the magic and lightness of this wonderful time of year.

2. Practice Mindfulness

With all the treats present during this time of year, December is the perfect time to practice mindfulness.

Become extra present with the sweets, music and company. Enjoy each bite of your food, noticing along the way when you feel you’ve had enough. To constantly ground yourself, find moments in your day to check in and breathe. From here, make the right decisions for you and your body.

If at any point you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the extra stimuli, simply leave the conversation or noise, to find a quiet space. Close your eyes and spend a few moments with your hand on your heart breathing deeply. Watch your mind naturally and gradually calm down. Leave only when you feel that you have come back to yourself.

3. Pat Yourself on the Back

This is a wonderful practice I’ve only recently discovered. Your to-do list is a great tool for keeping track of what needs to be done… but let’s be honest, it can also leave you with a sense of overwhelm and never-ending commitments.

Here’s the perfect remedy.

At the end of your day, make an accomplishment list! You can write this out, or create this mentally. Think about three things that you’ve achieved, and close your day with a sense of contentment and peace.

4. Keep Your Tech in Check

At this time of the year, social media, text messages and calls will inevitably blow up our phones. It’s perfectly natural to feel super loved… but also super overwhelmed.

Make sure to enter your tech time with awareness, being mindful of your time spent! This is such a wonderful time of the year to look around, take in beauty and enjoy your reality, rather than your phone screen!

5. Remember Kindness

This almost goes without saying, but the holidays are an amazing time to practice kindness. The powerful energy of generosity is palpable in this magical time of year. Love absolutely comes to the forefront of the world’s consciousness. By sharing in the spirit of giving you can connect with this, and experience the gift of bringing joy to another.

There are plenty of ways that you can make a donation of time, service or money for those in need. Don’t let the holidays pass you by, without paying it forward!

Feeling gratitude for the holiday season, as with anything in life, will make it much more enjoyable and far less stressful. We hope we’ve inspired you in some way, to be truly present in the final days of this incredible decade.

Wishing you the HAPPIEST of holidays from us at Happy Buddha Retreats. We hope you have a grounded, rejuvenating break!

P.S Speaking of giving… why not treat a loved one to the gift voucher!?