A Tiny Practice for Countering Holiday Stress

There’s no doubt that along with everything we enjoy about this time of year, the holiday season comes with its own unique stressors — social pressures, family dynamics, food over-abundance — so what do we do about it?

You can use this #TinyPractice from mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro anytime and anywhere to reconnect with a softer, kinder side of yourself.


The Upshot of Kindness

The small hand-over-the-heart gesture is a simple way to cultivate positive change in the midst of stressful moments. As Shauna shared at Mindful Living, a recent LifeWork event, practicing kindness with ourselves bathes our system with dopamine, which turns on the reward and pleasure centers of our brains — we are biologically designed to not only recognize that kindness feels good but also to take action toward creating more of it. This #TinyPractice is a great way to do just that.

Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a professor at Santa Clara University, a clinical psychologist, and an internationally recognized expert in mindfulness. She is coauthor of The Art and Science of Mindfulness and Mindful Discipline, a loving approach to raising an emotionally intelligent child.

Filmed at Mindful Living, a LIfeWork event held at the EILEEN FISHER showroom in New York City, fall 2017.

What is your top holiday stressor? Will this #TinyPractice help?

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  • Theresa says:

    Excessive commercialism!! Constant ads for things we don’t truly need evokes stress and a since of wanting to avoid gift giving because of it’s commercialization. Most ads make gift giving look shallow. Instead of emphasizing community and sharing advertising around the holidays emphasize materialism.

  • Theresa says:

    There are many…….. Irrational and angry drivers on the roads, traffic, unpleasant and angry people, so much to do in a short period of time. My childhood family was full of unhappiness, self-made traumas and stressors throughout the holiday season. Now that they are all deceased, other than the great loss that I feel, I am able to celebrate with my family and friends on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day open house. Practicing #tinypractice will be so helpful. Thank you

  • Julie says:

    I’ve finally taken the time to open the Lifework emails and they are wonderful. Be kind to yourself and it’s easier to be kind to others.

  • Gina DeSantis says:

    Balancing my professional life with what i think I need to be as a holiday hostess.

  • Carolyn says:

    I loved this little ritual and it does feel good. I’m going to try it! It’s always a little stressful blending holiday traditions and expectations with visiting step kids:)

  • Meg says:

    Family dynamics and trauma history surrounding the holidays. Pausing to anchor myself, reminding myself that I am safe, will be a tremendous help.

  • Valerie says:

    #tinypractice is a lovely idea! Practicing kindness starts with ourselves.
    Thank you!

  • Ann Ludwig says:

    My stressor is relationships with other people. I am adding hand to heart to my self loving and self forgiving practices. I am so grateful for this program and hope to get to Irvington to participate live one day. In the meantime the video production and web access is so smooth and flawless, so EF, that I feel I am there. This is a real enhancement to my life. Thank you.

  • GG says:

    Feeling obligated to buy expensive gifts when you don’t have the $

    • Marla Del says:

      I have found that gifts that are smaller, more imaginative, or gifts that are handmade, are met with with more joy from the receivers!

  • Jan Wood says:

    Some family members are my triggers, they make me anxious. This season I will try and take a deep breath and not let them affect me. If I can do this my holidays would be more calm.

  • Glenda Collins says:

    Year after year being let go of a job in Sept/Oct and not finding or being hired until January.

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