When stress arises in our lives, it can be easy to lose track of all the good things and just worry about our problems. For most swimmers, stress can either make or break you when it comes to your most important meet of your life. And with the holidays just around the corner, It can be hard to take a step back from all of the chaos and remember what the holidays are really about. The holidays are supposed to be a time for giving thanks and appreciating the people in our lives, but how can you enjoy the holidays without losing your mind over the small things that normally stress you out and drive you crazy?
Adopting an attitude of gratitude year round can help alleviate the stress holidays have on us when they roll around. Being physically in shape is very important, but can mean nothing if you don’t feel the same way mentally. Some days, your body feels like it can take on any workout your coach throws at you, but you mind feels the completely opposite. Making these changes can turn all your worries into something that you can truly give thanks for.
Here are some adjustments that help you adopt this attitude, not only through the holiday, but also throughout your entire life:
- Say, out loud, what you are grateful for and then write it down. Knowing what you are grateful for is a wonderful way to focus on being grateful. But, don’t forget the small stuff either. Everything counts. Listing a compliment you received from your coach, or a chance to spend time with a friend you don’t get to see very often, is just as important to recognize as the big blessings, like your family or your health. Do this right when you wake up and take a few minutes to do this again before bed.
- Show your gratitude. Make plans to thank people and show them how grateful you are. Just a thank you, or a call to see how someone is doing who’s helped you before can really remind you how much in your life you have to be grateful about.
- Post pictures of what makes you grateful. It’s easy to push the good things out and focus on the stress in your life when the good things are out of sight and out of mind. Pictures of the people you appreciate and love, as well as the things that make you happy can be a happy reminder throughout the day to be grateful and appreciate all the good in your life.
- Make it a habit. Going through the exercises of being grateful will make these practices a habit so that no matter if your having a good day, or a bad day that pushes your stress limits to the maximum, you will be able to practice gratitude and be happy through the challenges of life.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude is a great way to navigate some of life’s more trying moments, like a difficult practice or a meet that didn’t quick go your way. It can quickly put into perspective the problems you are facing and allow you to embrace them and work through them with a calm that only gratitude can bring. Holidays tend to make us forget all of the things we are grateful for while we stress and run around, instead of letting us enjoy all the blessings that we have in our life. Use these steps everyday and practice them until they become a habit. Then, let yourself enjoy the holidays, as well as everyday you are blessed to have.