It seems that “I’m busy” and “I’m tired” are the two most common answers to the question, “How are you?”
They’ve become a state of being. And it gets worse during the holiday season.
No surprise. There’s so much more to do.
First of all, you’re trying to get everything done at work so you can take time off.
And then there’s holiday shopping, decorating, and cooking and baking (if that’s part of your life this time of year).
You’re either traveling or getting your house ready for company to descend (or both). And you’re still trying to cram in all those things you swore you’d get done before the end of the year.
Calories are going through the roof from all the holiday cookies, parties, and celebratory cocktails. You’re praying some article of clothing will still fit in January. And somewhere in there you’re mentally working on your New Year’s resolutions so that next year will be different.
Even if you love the holidays, it’s no wonder you’re worn out by the time January 1st arrives!
Try a different approach to the holiday season this year.
- Choose your experience. When January rolls around, how do you want to describe the last two weeks of the year? Calm, fun, exciting, nurturing, connected? The possibilities are endless but I suspect you’re not craving stressful, exhausting, or out-of-control. Which leads to …
- Kibosh the shoulds. What to-dos or commitments on your list are driven by should? For example, if baking eight kinds of cookies for fifty of your closest friends brings you joy, go for it. But if not, dump it from your list. Same goes for any other impulse you have to “should on yourself!”
- Quiet Time. Meditation, prayer, yoga, a solo walk in the woods – it’s good for your mind, body, and spirit, and it opens up space for you to hear your intuition so you can better …
- Reflect on the upcoming year. Rather than a litany of resolutions that are likely to be history by the second week of January, set an intention for how you want to live this next year. Examples include living spaciously, abundantly, happily, or successfully. Intentions define your inner experience which directly impacts your external actions.
- Tend to your physical environment. Your mental and emotional states are dramatically impacted by your surroundings. What needs to happen in your environment to support you?
- Get out in nature. Whether it’s feeling the cold, the rain or snow, or the sun on your face, get outside and breathe.
- Be kind to your body. Do a few daily stretches, move your body, and get enough sleep. And with the abundance of tempting treats this time of year, adopt the mantra: everything in moderation.
- Stimulate your mind. Interesting conversation, thought-provoking movies or books … anything that gives your brain a good workout.
- Pamper yourself. Take a bath with rose petals and bubbles, get a massage or facial, or sit in front of a fire with a cup of your favorite tea.
- Savor the moment. The minutes between today and the official end of the holiday season on January 2nd are minutes you can never get back. Be present to each one.
Incorporate these ten suggestions into your holiday experience and you’ll set yourself up to start the New Year refreshed, rejuvenated, and reenergized.
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”
~ Thomas Merton