Do you have a plan for getting through the holidays? One of the best parts of the holiday season is socializing with family and friends and being able to spread kindness and cheer to everyone. It’s so much fun to find the perfect gift for people and to do nice things for the people you care about.
Think about all that giving you are doing - presents for the neighbors, friends, relatives, and of course family. Writing and sending Christmas cards, making your house merry and bright, planning Christmas dinner, or menu, shopping, contributing at the office party. . . That’s a lot of giving of time, and energy, and it seems to never end this time of year. But what about you? How do you replenish your wellspring of good cheer?
If you’re a caring, selfless person, it’s really easy to let the holidays become all about everyone else and forget about yourself. When you’re only thinking about family and friends, you can get burnt out without realizing it. It will eventually affect how you interact with those you care about, and you won’t be able to bring as much joy to those around you as you’d really like to.
Give Yourself A Gift Without the Guilt -
Taking time, and doing things for yourself can feel selfish - especially around Christmas with all the hustle and bustle, and the constant list of things that get added as we go along, - but -“time is indeed a gift”.
It’s actually very important for you to make a concerted effort to give yourself “the gift of time” every day. Just as you would stop whatever you were doing to help your children or grandchildren when they “get out of sorts’, so should you “stop to help yourself”. This is the “season of giving”, and it is important to give to you first. Give your body, mind, and spirit what it needs to recharge your batteries.
Be “Present” and Involve All Your Senses -
When we are mindfully present, we experience whatever we are doing on many different levels. Too often we “lose ourselves” in the midst of whatever we are doing with the mindset of getting it done and crossing it off our list. Why not try some of these?
Before you leave the house to go out shopping, or whatever you have to do, take a couple of minutes to calm your body and mind. Take several deep, deep breaths while reciting during each breath the affirmation, “I am calm and relaxed, and this will help me to do this more efficiently.” When you start your car, turn on some Christmas music and if you feel like it - sing along.
When you are cooking something for your holiday meal, think of the reactions of your family or friends as they savor whatever you are preparing. Smell the herbs and spices, taste periodically for seasoning, and look at how all those ingredients come together, and smell as you go along, adding ingredients, and look at how it all comes together into one fantastic dish! Imagine how much better you are going to feel if you do this instead of just “whipping something up”!
When you’re done, sit down with a cup of your favorite beverage, and enjoy a holiday movie.
To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn -
Sit down with your family and coordinate activities as best you can to minimize last minute surprises, or events. They’ll not only stress you out, but the rest of the family as well.
Set a limit on your gift spending - maybe you want to cut back a little bit this year. It’s so easy for the “commercialism” of the holiday to “creep in”. Prioritize your obligations, and don’t feel you have to do everything. Make sure you get plenty of rest by setting a definitive bedtime - an end to your day. Tomorrow is another day.
Lower Your Expectations -
This may seem counter-intuitive, but I know from my own experiences, the holidays can set us up with some pretty unrealistic, and idealistic expectations. Christmas is enshrouded in a “magical feeling”, and that can cause us to try to dream of, and try to create, the perfect holiday for everyone.
Know that’s not going to happen, and puts a tremendous amount of pressure on you and everyone around you. By doing this you lift a great responsibility off your shoulders, and will be naturally open to feeling more joy and happiness in the celebration of it all.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help -
When the going gets tough, don’t try to go it alone. Openly ask for help.
When you make yourself a priority during this holiday season it will give you the gift of peace, comfort, and joy - after all - isn’t this what the season is all about?
Thanks for stopping by!