How to Balance Your Mind for the Holidays
A simple and unassuming manner of life doesn’t exactly describe what tends to happen during the holidays, does it? With the holidays coming into sight, we wanted to take a pause to ponder the true spirit of the season. What do most people look forward to during the holidays? Spending time with friends and family, reflecting on the recent past, looking towards future goals, and perhaps evaluating our own spiritual endeavors. But the hustle and bustle that accompanies these activities seem to bring more chaos than we bargained for. Traveling, cooking elaborate meals, buying gifts for everyone on the list, and dealing with holiday crowds—these seem to be the activities that end up taking most of our time.
“I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”
A survey by the American Psychological Association shows that 44% of women and 31% of men feel an increased level of stress during the holidays, with the biggest stressor being lack of time. 1 Both women and men (51% and 49% respectively) feel a responsibility to make sure everyone in their family is happy during the holidays. The same survey also showed that people are not likely to take part in activities to help relieve the stress and support healthy living during this same time. What can you do to prepare yourself, so that your attention and energy really are focused on what is most important to you during the upcoming holidays?
The first and most important step is to balance the mind, giving it direction and centering. If your mind is able to find calm and peace, the external chaos takes a back seat, and you are able to proactively seek out opportunities for the things you desire—relationships, reflection, and spiritual connection.
“Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.”
Ayurveda recognizes a happy, blissful state of mind as a requisite component of good health. 2 Ayurveda also recognizes the inseparable union of body, mind, and spirit as the core of well-being. So if happiness and good health are part of what you are seeking during the holidays, for yourself and your loved ones, consider starting with the things that will produce true joy in your mental and emotional being. To prepare the mind for this state of happiness or bliss requires some effort on your part. The fruit of your effort makes each moment much richer and more enjoyable.
“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind.”
We suggest some of the following tips:
If you find that some of these tips bring you more joy, peace, and cheer during the holidays, see if you can find ways to gift them to those that you love and interact with in the next few months.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”