Happy Holidays Are Coming!
De-Stress During The Holidays
Who said the work project must be done before December 31st? Who said the gifts have to be perfect? Who said the pumpkin pie MUST be the best one we’ve ever made?
No one has said any of these things, but if you’re like me, YOU feel that way. GOOD NEWS: For the last few years, I haven’t felt this way and I’ve had the most memorable holidays in years! My son has even said, “Great holiday, Mom! You were so relaxed.”
What if I told you that you, too, can set the stage for truly happy holidays? If you could have any theme/mood for November and December, what would it be? Would you like an “old-fashioned” family holiday? A quiet, restful time? Laughs and adventures with friends? Well, the mood of your holidays starts with YOU!
So, do you want to know how you can de-stress your holidays?
First things First!
- Use the Time Management Tool we offer the same as you do during the other times of the year. Use it DAILY! My life wouldn’t be the same without it, and clients tell me their days are so much more productive and flow much easier when they use this tool. Once you’ve started using it, it’s hard NOT to!
- Do something kind for yourself daily. Last week, one of my corporate clients commented, “Okay Karen, now that I’m getting my business up to speed, why do I feel so disjointed?” Well, as he was getting his business organized, and we were putting new systems in place, he was forgetting or neglecting self-care. His exercise had halted, his meditation has ceased and he wasn’t connecting with friends as much as he had been. You can’t do your best at work, or for your family or friends if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure you engage in things you enjoy, and that you take some time out for yourself every day. Perhaps a quiet bath with Epsom salts, or lunch at the park on your own with your phone off. Maybe you take 15 minutes to walk on the beach, or listen to your favorite music. Whatever you do – don’t neglect YOU in the process of trying to get things done. Self-neglect turns into stress while self-appreciation creates success.
- Be MINDFUL! How can you holiday shop for Aunt Betty while in a business meeting? Or better yet, how can you solve a business problem while making a gingerbread house with the kids? Well, you probably could do these, but you will be more productive AND enjoy doing these a whole lot more if you don’t try to multi-task. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Mindfulness is defined as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also: such a state of awareness.” Being mindful is being present, not letting your mind go to the next activity, and completely and without reservation focusing on the here and Now! Think about this – if your life were to end in the next few minutes, wouldn’t you rather go having enjoyed that last minute doing what you love rather than thinking of the proposal you need to get out? I know I would. I went wedding dress shopping with my future daughter-in-law and I spent a lot of time texting friends the pics of her, as I’m so proud of her outside and inside beauty. And yet, that wasn’t being MINDFUL! As happy as I was to be with her, I wasn’t focusing my attention on the present moment. I wasn’t TRULY experiencing all the joy that time was offering. So, yes I struggle with this as well. In hindsight, which is a wonderful and not so wonderful thing, I wish I’d just shared those photos later in the day, and enjoyed each moment with her instead… LESSON LEARNED! So, dedicate yourself to one thing at a time. Focus on the activities you are involved in as they happen, rather than spreading your attention to so many different things you don’t get to experience the joy of any of them. Here is a link for a Mindfulness magazine And, a wonderful article about Mindfulness In The Workplace.
- MEDITATE at least 5 minutes daily! I’ve been meditating for a lot of years and yet there are days when getting in 5 minutes is a chore – yet it doesn’t have to be. Generally, meditation can be difficult for me when I’m expecting too much of myself and can’t focus as I feel I should. But, maybe that day I can only do the best I can do – there’s nothing wrong with that! Fortunately, there’s no right or wrong way to meditate because the main goal is to quiet the mind. If your mind is racing while you’re trying to meditate, re-focus on listening to your breath going in and out, and keep going. The more you practice meditation, the better you will get, and the easier it will be for you to clear your mind. Sometimes, when the stress is starting, simply sitting quietly for 5 minutes in a comfortable position is enough to help you re-direct your brain to a calmer, more peaceful level. With all that said, your experience is your own and it’s OKAY and it is RIGHT! Meditation isn’t to be JUDGED! If you have never meditated before, I have a wonderful meditation for beginners that I will be happy to send to you if you email me – it’s a great way to start!
So, the key to distressing during the holidays is to remember there are 365 days in a year, 24 hours each day, 7 days in a week and it doesn’t change just because of a big holiday, a work deadline or any preconceived notion you may have about how “things ought to be.” This time of the year is a time to celebrate the seasonal change in nature such as leaves falling, the ‘fall back” of the clocks, celebrations with friends and family, and creating new memories. Try not to make it harder than it has to be as “It just is what it is!”