A Survival Kit for the Holidays
It won't be long before carols like Andy Williams' classic hit, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" will be serenading us from the radio station, department store, dentist's office... everywhere! This truly is a wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it doesn't feel that way. It's all too easy to get sucked into a whirlpool of overwhelming checklists and busy schedules which quickly fray the mind with stress and exhaustion. Whether that has been your past holiday experience or not, that is NOT going to be your story this year. This year is not last year – it is shining and new like a blanket of fresh snowfall shimmering before you, beckoning you to enjoy and savor this season. We want this to be your holiday story, so in order to truly make it the most wonderful time of the year, here are a few things that will help equip you as you to step into the season:
1. Be faithful to your routine.
With traveling, holiday parties, and extra trips to the grocery store, it's difficult to stick to your ordinary schedule. Things like yoga class and personal time often gets thrown on the back burner in hopes that it will sneak in somewhere into your week. But we encourage you goddesses to fight for this time! It will revive your spirit and help you enjoy family, friends, and events all the more. It is hard to make a priority, but embrace the challenge as an opportunity to get creative. If you have family in town, invite one of them along with you to a class or sign up for a local holiday run and make it a new family tradition. Sneak away for a massage or take an early morning walk to your neighborhood coffee shop for a breather and a cozy drink.
2. Practice thankfulness.
Although this is a joyous season for some, it can often be hard time for others. Whether you have a difficult family to be with or you feel the painful absence of someone or something, you have the power to change your pattern of thinking. Instead of dwelling on what you lack, focus on the gifts you do have. Keep a journal by your bedside table and before you start each day, take a couple minutes to jot down five things you are thankful for. Such a simple exercise can dramatically shift your perspective from one of deficiency to abundance.
There is an unexplainable joy in giving up time, energy, and resources for someone in need. Serving others adjusts our vision of the world and gently reminds us that we are not at its nucleus. It melts hostility, silences fear, and builds understanding. And all it requires is a little heart. As Mother Teresa said, "It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." Serving others does not necessarily mean pledging large amounts of money or time – it begins within our own homes and communities. Maybe it means taking time for a friend in need, striking up a conversation with someone in the checkout line, or inviting a neighbor who lives alone to a family dinner.
4. Keep it simple.
Women are the queens of charm and thoughtfulness. But with this gift comes the curse of excessive stress due to impossible expectations we make for ourselves. Take the world off your shoulders – you do not need to make everyone's favorite holiday dessert on top of cleaning the house, getting all your holiday cards in the mail, finding presents for the kids, and reading the seven novels you've been meaning to get to. Your children want your time more than your money. And if the Christmas cards become New Years or Valentine's Day cards, it's okay. The message of love remains. Throw the expectations out of the window and be at peace in the present... it holds true to its name!