Mindful Parenting Round-Up: Finding Calm in the Holiday Chaos

For the entire month of December, I feel my anxiety steadily increasing. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure my kids feel genuine gratitude for all of the things they have (a house, a bed, food and water, clothes) and don’t spend all their time thinking about what gifts they should get. I don’t expect my young children to think beyond themselves without a little help so this year we made kits for the homeless and created keepsake boxes for their babysitters.

Holiday projects, volunteering and all the merry-making can be exhausting. It’s not always easy to say “no” to the extra demands of the holiday. I really don’t want to miss a minute of joy, but wow, it can be a lot of work! Maybe these things stress you out as well, or perhaps you have other anxieties that arise during the month of December.

We all need a little self-care when life ramps up. This month’s Mindful Round-Up focuses on using mindfulness techniques during the holidays to manage the overload and be present with those around us. These resources identify stressors we all may experience and provide tips for how to deal with the chaos, challenges and emotions that arise during the season.

Mindbodygreen offers 20 Mindful Habits to Practice For a Happier Holiday Season. The idea is to “build mindfulness muscles” instead of getting sucked into the chaos of the season. Activities include moving your body, experiencing taste and practicing empathy.

Similarly, Psychology Today gives us 8 Mindfulness Tips During the Holidays, including practicing active listening, letting go of old habits and dropping judgement.

Mindful has a great post that pinpoints five common holiday stressors, like loneliness, family anxiety and increased demands, and how to manage them.

Looking for a holiday survival guide? This post on Medium has you covered. Broken down into four categories — food, family, gift giving and ritual — the article gives us mindful take-aways to practice in the moment.

Greater Good Magazine always has great articles backed by scientific research and this quick read about reducing holiday stress is well worth your time. Think acceptance, rumination, letting go and being grateful.

You may know that Denmark is often rated the world’s happiest nation, but do you know what “Hygge” is? I’ll give you a hint: it’s about way more than warm socks and cozy blankets. Find out more about Hygge and how it can help reduce stress during the holidays and all year long.

Spending quality time with your Littles is a great way to stay connected during the busy holiday season. Taking it a step further and serving with your family and friends makes the time together even more meaningful. Register for a Mindful Littles event where you can sponsor a family in need by purchasing basic necessities, food and gifts. Serve a meal together at a soup kitchen or shelter. Put together bags for the homeless with your kids or donate to Toys for Tots. There are countless ways to make a difference for others in our community.

Wishing you peace and joy now and into the new year!

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