Employers & Brokers, Foundational Health Behaviors, Workforce Health | By | 12/13/21

Give the gift of Happier Holidays: 5 Mindfulness Hacks

With eggnog lattes in every coffee shop, updated CDC holiday guidelines available, and travel volumes close to 2019 levels, it’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays we used to know.

Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on who you ask. For those in your population who thrive this time of year, being able to celebrate once again in familiar ways is cause for joy. And while they might experience some holiday-related stress, it’s just part of the season and they take it in stride.

Unfortunately, some people dread this time of year. For those folks, the holidays can be extremely challenging — to the point where they experience negative impacts on their health and wellbeing. For those living with mental conditions, for example, 64% report the holidays make their illnesses worse.

How can you support a range of needs in your own population this holiday season? By keeping your guidance actionable, time-sensitive, and proven to help with stress management. And we want to help! We put together some tips alongside mindfulness sessions from the Fitbit Premium app that you can share with your population.

5 Mindfulness Hacks for Happier Holidays: 

1. Set the tone for the big day(s)

‘Tis the season for lists, organization, and planning. The countdown to the holidays can become increasingly stressful. And with the added weight of worries from the last two years, it’s even more important to take care of your mental wellbeing.

An easy way to do this is to plan ahead and build it into your daily routine. So make your lists and check them twice, but set aside some time in the morning to check in with yourself before stepping into the hustle and bustle of the day. 

Fitbit Holiday Hack

  • Session: A Mantra Meditation for Your Morning
  • Description: Start your day on a positive note with a mantra meditation.
  • Duration: 5 min  

2. Manage anxiety with a guided walk

It feels especially good to spend time with family and friends after last year’s isolated holidays, but sometimes you just need to slip outside to take a breather from the festivities. After all, after getting used to limited social engagements over the last couple years,  it’s easier to feel overwhelmed in larger gatherings or busy spaces.

Enter the simple walk. Research has shown that walking promotes the release of endorphins that stimulate relaxation and improves our mood. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a short break and walk your way to calm. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to answer Grandma’s rapid-fire personal questions with ease! 

Fitbit Holiday Hack

  • Session: Clear Your Mind Walking Meditation
  • Description: Feel the ground beneath your feet and your stress floating away on the breeze. Head outdoors and center yourself with this guided walking meditation.
  • Duration: 15 min  

3. Reset hunger cues with a body check-in

So many holiday traditions center around food, it’s not surprising when people overindulge. But with buckets of Halloween candy, that third helping of Thanksgiving dinner, and more holiday temptations than your favorite baking show from across the pond, this time of year is especially challenging for people focused on maintaining their health and wellbeing.

To help hit pause on the celebratory eating and avoid the trap of making up for lost time spent away from your loved ones (or your favorite restaurants), remember to check in with your body. A five-minute check in on your body around mealtimes can go a long way in helping you figure out whether you’re actually hungry, or eating for another reason. Take a moment to consider if you really need those cookies, or if they’re better left for the jolly one who tends to make grand entrances through chimneys in the middle of the night.

Fitbit Holiday Hack

  • Session: Mindful Eating: Am I Hungry?
  • Description: Often we eat out of habit, or as a way of covering over stress, boredom or another uncomfortable emotion. This meditation invites the question: Am I hungry?
  • Duration: 5 min

4. Soften travel stress with awareness

There’s no doubt traveling requires a lot more planning, patience, and preparation during the pandemic than it did before COVID-19. Unfortunately, the stress of traveling in these conditions will only get more intense as you fly or drive to holiday destinations in 2021.

So what will help you navigate long lines, handle extra safety protocols, and stay flexible in the face of labor shortages and supply chain disruptions? Help reduce panic, cultivate calm, and ease any anxiety you may feel by dropping into the stillness – day or night, silent or not. 

Fitbit Holiday Hack

  • Session: Panic SOS
  • Description: A grounding meditation to ease panic and anxiety. (Calm)
  • Duration: 4 min

Are there kids under your care? Between homeschooling, getting them settled into ever-changing routines, and helping them understand so much of what’s happened over the last two years, you’ve done it all! And now, you’re hitting the road with your own little elf troop. Here’s a quick escape, in case they get into the holiday cookie stash and you need a moment of quiet.

Bonus Fitbit holiday hack for parents

  • Session: Meditation for Parents
  • Description: Join Jess Morey and cultivate these five research-backed qualities of good parenting: presence, attunement, compassion, delight and support.
  • Duration: 15 min

5. Center yourself and set up the New Year for success

For many people, the dawning of a new year is the perfect time to set intentions and even make resolutions to improve their health and wellbeing. The only problem is, studies have shown approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

To be successful, it helps to have specific, realistic goals in mind that can be broken down into small, measurable steps. But long before narrowing in on a resolution, it’s beneficial to set an intention and let that guide the way. That’s where honing focus can go a long way.

Fitbit New Year Hack

  • Session: StongWill: Find Your Center
  • Description: Will Smith always makes this clear: when training your body it’s just as important to train your mind. Join Faith Hunter on a mindfulness journey inward to home your mental fitness with deep breathing exercises and meditation.
  • Duration: 14 min

To wrap it up

It’s the season of giving and thinking of others – and don’t forget to include yourself. Remember to take some time to check in on your mind and body for what you need. 

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, cheers to your health and wellbeing!

icon/featured-mobile Created with Sketch.

Featured Video

Mindfulness Webinar

For more on Mindfulness to keep you cool and calm no matter what the season, check out our webinar, "Mindfulness for Challenging Times"

Fierce Health Payer Summit

11/2-11/3 | AUSTIN, TX

EMIDS Healthcare Summit

11/1-11/2 | NASHVILLE, TN