Posted on December 21, 2022 at 6:00 am
For some of us, this is the season of overwhelm. Expectations we have for ourselves or that others have for us can be downright unbearable during the holidays.
This year, I propose trying a different approach to the holiday season. Namely, let’s take a step back, give ourselves a little space, and try to find more meaning in doing less.
If you have anxiety, you may have learned the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. This is a fairly simple yet effective method for calming our minds when we’ve reached a breaking point. It is designed to refocus our minds on the present by way of the five senses—sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound—and turn our minds away from the spiraling thoughts that can fuel anxiety.
Here’s how to use the 5-4-3-2-1 technique:
By the end of this exercise, your mind will hopefully feel less crowded with uneasy thoughts, and you will be more grounded in the present.
This winter and holiday season, we can do this on a slightly larger scale as well. If you are feeling anxious, scattered, or in any way flustered, you could try this out to see if you feel more centered once you’ve finished.
For these five steps, you can substitute your personal favorites for any of those I’ve suggested above.
Hopefully, this technique will help you get through this winter season with more calm. And whether you’re feeling stress about the weather, the holidays, or anything else, I wish you peaceful winter moments and a hope-filled new year.
Here are some materials to help inspire calm moments through the five senses. You’ll find these books and CDs in our library catalog. Give one a try!
Abra Cole works as a Public Services Specialist for Spokane County Library District. She enjoys engaging with library customers, including hearing about their favorite books, hearing about how their gardens are growing, and helping them solve technology troubles with personal mobile devices and the library’s 3D printer. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, expanding her fiber-arts skills, and hanging out in the woods with her family.