I don’t know about you, but the holidays can make me feel craaaazy! I find myself feeling like there’s so much to be done with barely any time to do it all. Christmas becomes a wild and crazy ride that I can’t wait to jump off of!
There are endless parties to go to, presents to buy, wrap and deliver, family to entertain, in-laws to visit, decorations to hang, children to please, and endless amounts of food to prepare. The list goes on and on.
While most of these holiday activities are meant to lift our spirits, we invariably find ourselves being pushed down under a pile of stress, not knowing how to do it all. Before we know it, Christmas is over, our nerve endings are fried and we’re sometimes left with a sinking feeling as if we’ve missed something.
And maybe we have…
Last year, I decided that the whirlwind of the holidays would not sweep me up into its vortex of stress any longer! You know what happened? I seemed to get more done than I ever have before! Not only that, I had a great time doing it all.
HERE are 5 WAYS YOU CAN RAISE YOUR PEACE-O-METER and DITCH the HOLIDAY MADNESS
1. Prioritize Presence Over Presents
Presents, Presents, Presents! They really seem to bulldoze their way into the lime-light during the holidays. The mountains of advertisements and emails that contend for our dollars and attention can be ridiculous!
So how do we ignore the mountain of obligation before us in order to stay grounded in the field of peace and still enjoy a spirit of giving and receiving?
Be present. Not with presents… but with presence.
When we give, if we pay attention to where the gift is coming from (in us), we can bypass a potential weariness. Is our giving coming from a place that is following the “have to’s” and the “should’s”, which is energy draining, or is it coming from a feeling of “I feel good, so I want to give”, which increases energy?
There is no need for us to compromise our own wellbeing just to try to fulfill another’s expectations, or our own unreasonable high expectations. Too easily we get caught in a web of pressure. And sometimes the only way to get out is to quit the struggle and just stop.
Let’s allow ourselves to say “no”. Let’s stop doing until the ‘pressure of doing’ becomes transformed within us. Let’s go into the silent place that is our presence.
If that means Christmas has to go on without us this year, then so be it! We will live. Our kids will live. All will be well. And we’ll even gain something with much more value than presents. We may gain the feeling we ultimately are longing for, love and connection with those we love.
If we can draw ourselves inward and experience our presence, a natural desire to give will arise. That kind of giving, coming from a place of presence, feels amazing! In the present moment there is nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to please; there is no need or lack, because all things are complete in that space, our core.
2. Mindful Giving Instead of Compulsive Buying
When you get home after shopping do you sometimes look at your loot and think, “How did this happen?” If that’s you, it may be helpful to approach buying with a new mindset.
A good dose of mindfulness is just the anecdote to help soothe the irresistible desire to buy more things than are needed.
Just remember, more things, even when they’re being given, does not equal more peace. Usually, it’s the opposite.
Stretching yourself financially or emotionally to try to fulfill someone’s desires (even your own), will only lead to more stress and ultimately a feeling of lack, which is probably the very feeling you’re trying to get rid of in the first place.
Mindfulness, in this context, means doing things with care while being aware.
Observe your thoughts, are they bringing you peace or are they barking orders at you like an unfulfilled substitute teacher?
This year, set your intention to only give what you truly have in you to give. Be open to the possibility that money may not even need to be in the equation. Maybe a gift of your time, a poem, song, picture, or something handmade will be the perfect gift to those whom you love. Or maybe this year it’s nothing at all. That’s okay too!
Just be glad you’re not in my shoes… Does anyone know where I can find a red, real dragon that my 4-year-old son can ride around on in the backyard? I’m still working on that one…
3. Slow Down
So you’re headed down the road and you see the light about 100 feet ahead turning yellow. Do you speed up to try to make the light or do you slow down? Hopefully, you SLOW DOWN!!!
During Christmas time (and all the time for that matter), look at your life like a traffic signal. Which light is on? If it’s red, don’t go! On the other hand, if it’s green, make your move. Paying attention to the signals in your life can save you a whole truck load of overwhelm and burn-out.
Furthermore, don’t ignore the signals. Listen. Drop everything if needed. Nothing is worth holding onto when your health and your sanity are on the line!
You may experience tension in your body, sickness, exhaustion, forgetfulness… Whatever the sign may be, PAY ATTENTION! Do yourself a big favor and take some time for yourself.
Walk through a park, bask in a bubble bath, journal, do anything except think about all the things you need to get done for Christmas. If you don’t, you may find yourself in a closet curled up into a fetal position scarfing down some bon bons. YOU DON’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN!
Please, love yourself enough to take care or you!! You definitely won’t regret it and the people around you won’t either. You’re worth it!
4. Keep It Simple
So what do YOU want for Christmas? A new car, jewelry, fancy clothes, the latest, greatest technological advancement? I’m sure some of those may be on your list of ‘wants’ this year. Although, if you really take the time to stop and think about it, are those THINGS really what you want?
Maybe so, maybe not. If you get down to it, I bet you want something much more valuable. It may sound cheesy, but I really feel we all just want a meaningful connection with those we love.
So what are the factors that keep those connections from being realized during the holiday frenzy? Too much to do and too much stuff!
There’s usually so much going on that we forget to embrace the simple things like drinking hot cocoa by the fire, paleo hot cocoa of course, or caroling around the neighborhood. That still can be done, right? Or what about bundling up and making snow angels with the kids (if you have them).
There are so many fulfilling, simple and meaningful things you can do to make your holidays incredible this year! Give me some ideas in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!
5. Stay True to You
We all have a truth-o-meter inside of us and it uses how we feel to guide us. Some say not to listen to those feelings. They say to just buck up and plow right through, but I disagree.
I believe we have this internal compass for a reason. It’s there to help guide us through every moment with ease and authenticity.
Too often, we grow accustomed to ignoring our voice and it can become unrecognizable to us. This holiday, start listening. Listen deeper than you have in a long time and give yourself the grace to respect your own needs.
Don’t feel obligated to go to every holiday party. Cherish your family gatherings, tell someone how much you care, only make one dish instead of five, get up and sing your favorite Christmas song, hold someone’s hand who needs comfort. But, most of all, be yourself.
Stay true to what inspires you to open your heart to yourself and to those around you. You are a unique and beautiful shining light. Allow us to see how bright you are and ENJOY this holiday season! xoxo
I would love to connect with you! Leave a comment about what you do during the holidays to enjoy them more fully.
ARE YOU READY TO STEP INTO YOUR INFINITE HEALING POWER, RELEASE YEARS OF FEAR-BASED CONDITIONING AND ACTIVATE YOUR INNER GUIDANCE LIKE NEVER BEFORE?
It's my desire to help you get in touch with your wholeness in body, mind and spirit,
but you have to be the one to say yes
It's time to say Yes!
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