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Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Not feeling particularly cheery this time of year? You’re not alone. Many find that the holidays bring as much stress as they do joy. To help make the most of your festivities, let me share some mindful tips. Mindfulness is simply noticing when we get caught up in thoughts about the past or the future and returning our attention to the present. This can give us perspective and decrease stress.

Consider these four ways:

1. Accept Imperfection

As we gear up for the holidays, we often set the bar impossibly high for ourselves and then feel upset when our celebrations don’t live up to expectations. Before you start preparing, acknowledge that things may not go exactly as planned. It’s OK if it’s not perfect. Imperfection is healthy and normal.

2. Don’t Lose Sight of What Really Counts

When feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself: Where does this fit in the grand scheme of things? If you’re frustrated by the long grocery line you’re standing in, remember that it is just a long grocery line — nothing more. Don’t let it spoil your afternoon.

3. Respond with Kindness

Keep in mind the holidays are especially difficult for those who are alone. If things do get tense with someone, take a few deep breaths. Those few breaths can shift things and give you new perspective.

4. Rethink Your Resolutions

Typical New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure. If you want to better yourself in the New Year, start small.

Break your goal into tinier steps over the course of the year. Remember to be kind to yourself.

Here’s to enjoying the holiday season with less stress. For more information contact me, Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email at cmjones@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County. Stay well and stay safe.

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