How To Stay Zen Through the Holidays

The Holiday season is one of joy, celebrating with loved ones, giving, and cheer. But they can also be stressful. Read on to hear from Suze Yalof Schwartz, CEO and Founder of Unplug Meditation, on how to stay zen through this busy season 

The holiday season, which is supposed to be the happiest season, can sometimes be the most stressful. Why? The big triggers this time of year are travel, over spending, over eating and spending too much time with family. Ahh Family, the little things people say can not only activate us but can literally change our physiology. One tiny not- so-kind comment can seriously spike your cortisol (stress) levels, while a loving comment can release endorphins (happy hormones).

There is a simple trick I like to use that can give you the power to press your inner pause button so that you can respond thoughtfully instead of react and then regret. It’s called mindfulness.

Mindfulness, described in its simplest form, is total awareness of the present moment. You can be aware of the present moment simply by focusing on the sensation of breathing and how it feels in the body. Did you know that slowing down the breath and becoming fully aware of it, sends a signal to your brain that everything is okay? That is power and you have it!

Your breath is the key to the present moment.

When you are aware of the present moment, you have self awareness and awareness of others, so you can pause in that space between thoughts. I like to call that the gap – or the sweet spot of meditation – in which you have a choice on how you want to show up.

We have over 50,000 thoughts everyday, trying to steal our attention away from the present moment. Most of them are not only repetitive but unnecessary, triggered by things that happened in the past or by future events that haven’t even happened yet. It can make us depressed, anxious and unproductive. During extra busy times, like the holiday season, meditation can be used to redirect your mind from the thoughts that pop up. When you meditate, it’s like doing a bicep curl for the brain – every time you notice your mind wandering, just redirect your attention to the present moment or the sensation of breathing.

So, when you notice yourself getting triggered by others or by situations, press pause, find a quiet space, and  calm yourself down simply by breathing. The more you choose to retrain your brain, the more you will be able to control it so that you become less reactive and more responsive. Or you can turn your home into the Unplug Meditation studio with the Unplug app, which was created so that you can literally shift your mood in minutes, anytime, anywhere. We even created a Panic Button category for when you are feeling overwhelmed, angry, stressed or just want to feel calm and centered. We are offering you a free trial so that you can experience meditation bliss for yourself (see below for details). 


In the below video from Cassandra Bodzak of Unplug Meditation, you will learn how to approach the holiday table with more love.  Seek out the people you find most challenging and visualize them in a way that will literally rewire your brain for compassion. As you eat your holiday meal in real time you will never be able to look at them in the same way again – which is a good thing.

Happy Holidays!



The Unplug Meditation app was created so that you can literally shift your mood in minutes, anytime, anywhere. To redeem your free trial, click this link from your mobile phone and start experiencing meditation bliss for yourself!

You might also like

  • Read more

    #UpForAnything Quiz

    Our new Up For Anything Tight was designed specifically to help you take on new challenges. With a no-flip waistband and 360-degree stretch, it’s the perfect garment for your next heart-pounding endeavor. But if you slip on a pair of tights and need some help determining what that adventure is, the flow chart below will…

  • Read more

    5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Body & Soul

    It’s been over three years since the #1 New York Times best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing came out, but people around the world are still discovering it, and swearing by the methods author Marie Kondo shares. If you’re not familiar with the book (we recommend…

  • Read more

    3 Simple Ways to Go Green Today and Everyday

    Last year we set some aggressive sustainability goals for 2020, and while are are still a few years off we want to show how easy it is to lessen our impact on the environment. Yoga instructor and Athleta Partner Jules Hunt of the lifestyle blog Om And The City shares her easy ways to live sustainably and…

Melanie Carvell

December 03, 2017 at 4:27 am

Thank you for sharing this lovely post on meditation and mindfulness! If you need a great Christmas gift yourself, or something really worthwhile to gift to others on your list, add “Unplug” to your Athleta cart today! I have read many books on mindfulness and meditation and have been practicing for several years but this little book is a GEM. After reading it myself, I have recommended it to many others and purchased several for my Christmas gifting. The best thing about the book is that it dispels many myths about meditation and makes it very doable and practical for everyone, no matter how “busy” we may be!

Lori Waldera

December 06, 2017 at 7:01 pm

LOVE THIS!! So not good at “unplugging” and just focusing and quieting my mind.

Leave a Reply