Holiday Stress And Holiday De-Stress


Mindfulness meditation is a proven stress reduction treatment method for reducing symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Through mindfulness meditation, we focus our attention elsewhere than the situation or feelings causing us stress or anxiety. Mindfulness might ask a practitioner to focus on their different senses. What can you smell? What can you taste? What can you feel? What can you hear? As focus shifts in a different direction, one starts to relax and realize that the stress was, and always is, passing. Doing so helps to essentially reset the system, connecting mind, body, and spirit, once more.

The Holiday season can be a time of great stress. It can also be an opportunity to utilize the senses through mindfulness meditation for reducing stress and staying present through all the season has to offer.


Beautiful decorations, festivals of lights, bustling crowds, happy families, bright colors and warm patterns dance across the retina during the holidays. Gold and silver, glitter and tinsel- there are so many beautiful sights to be held. A first snowfall, the glow of a warm fire…wherever you can set your eyes, soften your gaze and focus on just taking in what you see around you. Realize that no other time of year looks the way the winter holidays do. Remember that like all things, the holidays are passing. Take a moment to pause and relish being present in this celebratory time.


Scent of pine, warm apple cider, sweet cookies and treats, cinnamon and nutmeg, wood burning in a toasty fire– the holidays are full of tantalizing smells. Smell is the strongest sense we have with the most deeply connected memory recall. Our memories associate smells with memories so intimately that we often take them for granted since our brain’s so easily recognize them. Take a moment to smell your favorite holiday smell or notice what holiday smells fill the air around you. Find gratitude and give thanks that the season for such wonderful scents has come again.


Radio stations start playing christmas music quite a bit ahead of Christmas, these days. Holiday seasons are defined by familiar songs, new music, and sounds. Crackling fires, pouring rain, laughter from family members– close your eyes and listen. What do you hear?


Some holiday treats and dishes only come once a year. Turn meal times into mindfulness meditation by focusing on and savoring every bite. Feel the textures and how the flavors change from start to finish. Notice what different foods and tastes remind you of.


Many of us are blessed to be with family and friends during the holidays. You get to touch and be with family members or friends who you don’t get to see very often. Notice the way they feel when you touch them or embrace them in a hug.


Refuge Recovery believes that life is a celebration not to be missed. Our goal is to help you grow into the authentic individual you are so you can live your most enriching life. For more information on our treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction, call 323-207-0276.

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