Follow these simple tips to reduce holiday stress and increase the joy of the season:
- Be Present.
Do your best to stay in the moment. What does this mean? It means be mindful and willing to do just one thing at a time. Pay attention to your thoughts and stay focused on the activity at hand. If you are with your children, friends or family, put electronic devices aside and really be with them. Tune into what the season is really about rather than to-do lists.
- Make a Plan.
Make sure you plan time for yourself, time for the family and time to prepare for events. It is imperative to balance these areas. If you don’t set aside time for yourself—even just 20 or 30 minutes, your entire day may be compromised. Remember the best thing we can do for all is to gift ourselves with some peace, quiet and meaningful practices. It fills our soul, allowing us to connect more deeply and genuinely with others.
- Have a Purpose.
Determine a purpose or intention for each activity you do. Is the purpose of getting together for the holidays to exchange gifts or is it to spend quality time connecting with loved ones? Either is okay, but when you determine the purpose or intention ahead of time, there is an emphasis on the “why” of what you are doing. Many times we just “get through” holidays and family gatherings. If your purpose is to love and connect, then you will move through this time feeling more fulfilled.
I recall one Christmas gathering at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in which I set an intention to connect with each person there for at least five minutes. It was by far the most fulfilling holiday get-together with family that I can recall. I left feeling a heart to heart connection with each person.
One extra tip is to create a “mantra” for the whole holiday season. One of my favorites is, “I have all the time, energy and resources I need.” When I say this slowly to myself, I see all the rushing and stress dissolve. I feel present, purposeful and more able to plan.
Follow these tips and “be the change” in your family this holiday season!