It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and the most stressful for many of us. I love spending time with my family during the holidays, gift shopping, decorating and all the other festive seasonal activities that come along with Christmas. But this can all be exceptionally draining. Along with the excitement comes the holiday stress- agonizing over the perfect gift for everybody on your list, the chore of preparing the perfect holiday feast and the dreaded task of holiday travel.
The past few weeks we’be been providing you with seasonal treats (Gift Guides, playlists, Netflix watchlist), eats (Christmas cookie roundup) and cheats (DIY gifts, festive decor tips). Hopefully, these pretty simple offerings have given you inspiration and helped you cross a few things off your holiday To Do list.
But those treats, eats, and cheats were mainly about giving to and entertaining others.This time of year we spend so much time focused on pleasing and taking care of everybody else in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with that, ’tis the season. And ’tis the season to make sure you’re practicing self-care so that you don’t burn out from all the holiday stress. That’s why today’s treat is all about you!
Today I’m sharing 3 of my favorite mobile mindfulness apps to help you relax, relate and release a bit of that holiday stress. It’s no secret that meditation is an effective way to combat stress. Here are a few of my favorite meditation apps that make the daily practice of mindfulness pretty simple, even during the busy holiday season.
This app is the perfect introduction to guided meditation. Start with 7 Days of Calm to learn the basics of mindfulness meditation and then explore the other programs. There are different seven-day series that focus on everything from stress management to self-esteem. You can choose soothing nature sounds, like waves or rain, to accompany your guided meditation. I find the ladies voice very relaxing, but just a warning- she’ll stop talking and you’ll be in your meditative la la land when all of a sudden she’s back! It’s like falling asleep and someone waking you up, it’s not unpleasant but can be a bit of a shock if you don’t expect it.
If you don’t want guided meditation, but want relaxing background noise, try Atmosphere- an ambient sound mixer. There are different environments to choose from- beach, forest, home, etc – and you can customize the sounds in each. If you choose the beach, you can add in waves, seagulls, wind and the whistle of a distant tug boat. Or you can choose a home environment where you relax to the sound of a crackling fire, rain on the windows and the meows of a furry friend. If you find the whirl of a washing machine and vacuums soothing you can add those in too!
You can also listen to binaural and isochronic white noise that can help you relieve stress and anxiety, ease a headache and stimulate creativity. I’m not exactly sure how this works, something about sound waves and frequencies – yay, science! Buy I do find it somewhat effective and at the least meditative.
This app is a meditation audio library. It’s like having your own spiritual gurus on the go! There are tons of free tracks to listen to that cover beginners meditation, stress relief, deep sleep stimulation and more. You can also purchase tracks that guide you through longer more targeted medications like aligning your Chakras or manifesting abundance. I listen to the free offerings, but many of the paid content is less than $5. That’s a dose of mindfulness for less than a venti cup of Starbucks!
Ready To Relieve The Holiday Stress?
These apps are available to download in your app store of choice. For free! Treat yourself to one, or all three, and practice mindfulness in the midst of the Christmas madness. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the holiday stress remember to take a few minutes to yourself. It’s okay! Whether you need to recharge or unwind, these apps are a pretty simple way to practice some self-care.
Have you tried any of these apps? If so what’s your favorite? Let us know if you try them or if you have any recommendations of your own.
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