It seems like the holiday season comes earlier every year. Some of us love it, some don’t. How are you feeling?
If you are like me, you may be wrestling between feelings of gratitude and love, alongside the added pressures of being off your routine. Considering the factors that seem to multiply this time of year, busy schedules, stressed out crowds, the unspoken rule of tolerating a house full of out-of-town family, it’s important to pause for a minute and digest the world around you.
When your schedule seems as though it is about to burst, take a huge breath, let it out slowly and consider following a few tips to stay balanced this holiday season.
Be A Realistic Visionary
Whether you are a natural planner or not, sit down for 10 minutes and sketch out a view of the weeks leading up to the New Year and the resources you have to work with. Understand what you HAVE to do verses what you WANT to do; and while you’re at it, all things you don’t want to do. Remember that saying “no” to one thing means saying “yes” to something else (even if that “yes” is an extra hour of sleep). The resources you have will help drive decisions about budget, health and sanity.
Shift Your Mindset
“The secret of happiness lies in the mind’s release from worldly ties.” ~ The Buddha
Gratitude changes your perspective. Instead of getting attached to the things you have to do, think about things you are grateful for.
Lets face it, getting over stimulated this time of year is really easy to do. Turn on the TV or browse the magazines in the checkout line and you’ll be reminded of everything you need to do to make this season the best ever. It’s enough to leave you feeling less than adequate, and possibly lead you to make impulsive decisions. Resist the temptation that will likely only lead you to disappointment.
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You
It is important, both spiritually and mentally, to practice compassion. If it resonates with you, remember that the origin of this season is one of giving. The practice of giving to another, without expectation of receiving anything in return, is one that will bring an immediate sense of peace and joy and continue to pay back with twice as much as the effort you put forth. Look for ways to give love freely – Donate time, meals or warm clothes to those less fortunate. Take a friend to a yoga class, teach someone to rock climb, bring cookies in for your office.
One of the best and easiest fixes to beat holiday stress is to get outdoors. Fresh oxygen is a powerful mood-booster and there is nothing like taking your workout outside, (yes, even if it is cold). Take time to appreciate your natural surroundings and soak in the light.
Give Yourself A Gift
Here is an assignment for you, give yourself a gift every day. Make it a gift that doesn’t compromise your finances, but one that you consciously reap return from. This will look different for everyone. For me, it’s an early morning yoga class before the work day starts. For others, it’s spending the day carving fresh tracks on the mountain or sipping a peppermint coffee with real cream. Let this gift bring about a sense of accomplishment, nourishment, motivation and peace.
Renew Your Joy
The phenomenal thing about feeling stressed and overwhelmed, is that there is an incredible energy that comes from it. Find the place in your heart to collect this energy and open your consciousness to seeing all of the possibilities for you to create a calming and beautiful space for you to exist.
Take time to remind yourself of everything you already have.