It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of season and over extend yourself. Think about how you can simplify this month's activities so that you are more energized than exhausted when the new year begins.
Prioritize spending time with the people you care for the most, and temper your expectations about what makes the "perfect holiday season".
Every year, it happens again. December is upon us before we are ready for it, and all of the sudden we are panicking. When are we having dinner with the family? What will we have? How many holiday parties will we attend? What’s going on at the school? When will I buy presents? When will we decorate the house?
The struggle is real. I know. The holidays do seem to sneak up on us, and then we get into full blown overwhelmed mode before we can even make a plan.
This year let’s try something else. Let’s keep a mantra handy: “Keep it simple”.
Mindfulness can be put into action during the holidays and make the whole experience a bit more enjoyable.
Take a minute and step back from the swirling chaos that is the month of December, and take a deep breath. Literally. Stop and take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor. Feel any sensations in the body. Spend as long as you need in this state of “being”. Repeat as often as necessary. Then resolve to keep it simple.
Becoming overwhelmed can happen in an instant. This is a difficult season for many of us, and a time when many of us try to do or be too much. So remember to go easy on yourself, and everyone else.
It’s always a good idea to keep your expectations and priorities in check, but it can become critical during the holidays. Maybe it would be helpful to sit down and write them on a piece of paper. Write five things that are of utmost importance to you. Choices might include:
-Having friends over one night
-Getting a sitter and having a “date night”
-Volunteering one day this month
-Meeting with ____ for lunch and shopping
-Getting the “group” (guys or girls) together for an evening
-Taking some time for myself
-Spending time with my child(ren) at a Christmas market/ ice skating/ walking in the woods…
-Spend quality one-on-one time with (spouse, child, parent, friend)
Try to set your own priorities instead of letting everyone else set them for you. At least make sure you get to many of yours. Compromise can create harmony, but make sure you are getting your fair share as well.
Above all: Keep it Simple. Examine whether an invitation for lunch will nourish you or deplete you. Say yes when you can, and don’t beat yourself up for saying “no” when you need to.
Self-care isn’t all about bubble baths and chocolates. It’s about making sure to stay sane during a time when overwhelm is in abundance. Taking care of yourself and knowing how to keep it simple will not only save you a lot of stress and heartache, you could bring the stress level down for everyone you come into contact with.
You may find the holidays are much more enjoyable without a lot of the extras that we pile on because we feel it's necessary or expected of us.
It never hurts to “Keep it Simple”. Good luck out there.
My warmest wishes for a nourishing and mindful holiday season,