The spirit of Christmas is love, generosity, and reflection upon the past year. It illuminates the window of the soul, and we are encouraged to slow down and allow space to become more interested in the people we love than in the hustle of our daily lives.
We choose to enjoy the holidays or dread them. We choose how we perceive (and how we react to) our family and friends and the things about them that trigger us year after year. We choose the food we put into our bodies, the festive drinks we consume, the people we spend time with. We choose to be present. Or not.
Here are some tips that help me stay grounded (and sane) during this busy time of year:
1. Before your feet hit the ground in the morning, BREATHE. In for 5, hold for 5, out for 5, and repeat. Taking a few minutes to do this will set the tone for your day. This will infuse you with peace...and patience!
2. Stop snacking on unhealthy food! It will be everywhere, easily accessible, and it will make you feel irritable, lethargic, and likely a bit guilty. If you choose to eat healthful foods that fuel you, I promise your holidays will be much more enjoyable, without the post-holiday slump.
3. Pause before speaking. This is HUGE. Things can really trip us up over the holidays and some pretty negative emotions can creep up. Pause. Breathe. Repeat. Then respond. You won't ever regret it.
4. Be present. Shut off your devices. Connect with people. Ask questions, and listen. They may just surprise you. Ask people what their funniest stories are, their most mystical moments, what makes them feel alive, their most memorable vacation... and then listen. These moments can create magical experiences.
5. Get outside. Bundle up. Spend time in nature. Get some exercise. There is beauty all around us if we take the time to notice. Take it all in.
Wishing you a magical holiday season and a New Year full of miracles.