Here are ten tips to enjoying the holiday season more and stressing out a little less. They all happen to begin with the letter ‘s’ which makes them easier to remember! Here goes:
Let’s not forget the reason for the season. Be sure to take time each day to get in touch with your own spiritual center, whatever that is for you. Soul replenishment is vital, whether it’s reading meaningful scriptures, meditating, or listening to inspiring music. Having silent time to self-reflect on the bigger meaning of it all will help you stay calmer throughout your day. Remember to Breathe!
We all know what this means, but how many of us make a practice of it? When you feel stressed, stop and consider what self-care technique you’ve been neglecting. Make a list of things that work for you as stress relievers. Here’s some ‘s’ suggestions in case you’ve forgotten: soak in the tub, scheduling a massage, singing to your favorite CD’s, socializing with friends, staring at the sunset, staring into space, sending the kids to the sitter, (then) sex, spending time alone…..you add the rest!
Make your “to do” list and then actually schedule it into your calendar. This will give you an idea of what you are actually committed to. It will also help you know in real time what your limits are and give you more control over your time. Remember to Breathe!
This goes hand in hand with the one above. Once you know in black and white where you are over committed, you will be able to make choices based on what is really important to you. Then give yourself permission to say no to the rest.
Make sure you give yourself empty space on that calendar—time for just Being instead of Doing, time to just do nothing. Creating inner spaciousness allows you to reconnect with your Source and put things in perspective. If every minute is scheduled, then something has to go. Remember to Breathe!
If you are still struggling with too much on the calendar—time to see where you can simplify. Where can you be less than perfect? Who can you delegate some jobs to? Where are your expectations too high? This is the perfect time to let go of expectations—for ourselves and for others. Expecting things to be a certain way because “that is how it has always been” robs us of creativity and adds undo inner stress. Be open and flexible—and up for new adventures.
Set up a shopping list and a spending budget:
If you are stressed by wandering through stores trying to think of what to buy, or by all the money spent on spontaneous gifts, then make a list of all the people you have to buy for, with a budgeted price next to each. Before you leave for the mall, figure out exactly what you want to buy for each person. Then focus in and stick to the plan. Better yet, order it online. The shipping charge is well worth the time and money saved.
Shine your light:
Remember to be a light for others during this season and during every season. Give your best. Create small acts of random kindness. Hold the door for someone, pay the toll for the car behind you, vow to look for the best in people you see every day, and compliment them on it, etc.
See it all in a new perspective:
When the normal stresses of these busy times start to get to you, try lightening up and seeing things from a different view. Don’t forget to have a sense of humor! Pull above it all, look at it from a Martian perspective, or your dog’s view, or maybe that of the other person. The more we can accept what is, look from the bigger picture, and have the perspective of gratitude, the happier we will be. Remember to Breathe!
Seize the Day:
Remember Carpe Diem? By this I mean practice PRESENCE. Slow down. Be in the moment. Really soak up the small moments of life. This can be done anywhere, anytime. Here’s a secret: It’s really the key to true peace and joy. To really slow down and experience the moment fully—right here. Right now. Know this moment is precious and will never be here again. Feel the air in your lungs, the warmth of the socks around your feet. No matter what chaos is around you, how much you have to do the rest of the day—RIGHT NOW is perfect just as it is. Remember to stop and consciously BE HERE NOW as often as possible, especially during those precious ordinary moments that are already finding their place in your memory of “the holiday season 2014”.