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Bal­anced Holidays

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.

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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.

Head Out­side

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.

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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.