We just got home from my daughter’s preschool holiday party, so the girls are officially on winter break until January 2. I’m looking forward to a short trip to see my extended family, as well as some relaxing time at home. But I’m also aware that the holidays can be stressful for everyone. Family visits aren’t always easy, and too much unstructured together time doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in people. I’ve been looking for some ideas for how to stay present, connected, and mindful over the next week and a half, and here is what I found:

This is a great article about mindful holiday eating“The holidays aren’t the time for dieting, tracking your nine servings of vegetables, or watching the scale like a hawk. Rather, mindful eating during the holidays is about recognizing the difference between savoring well-deserved treats and hurtling down the slippery slope to a place of stomach-gurgling misery.”

Here is a cool ten-day guide for staying mindful over the holidays. I particularly like #1: Eat some chocolate.

Right here on PsychCentral there are some useful ideas for minimizing stress during the holidays, such as, remember that anxiety isn’t who you are.

I also like this list by Dr. Lillian Cheung, co-author of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. My favorite suggestion is take time to do nothing.

Finally, Leo Babauta over at ZenHabits offers three simple (but not always easy!) steps: A simple practice, a simple mantra, and remember what’s important.

The quote by Thich Nhat Hanh at the top of Leo’s post may be the best advice of all as we move through the holidays: “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

Happy Holidays, everyone.