At times, these four words fill me with dread, and yet this is supposed to be a happy time. All the cards and commercials say so.
And yet, it’s not. For so many reasons, the holidays are filled with angst and heartache. More often they are filled with the need to do more and have more, be everywhere.
As this is often the case, one of the struggles we tend to have is that we are a blended family and trying to keep everyone happy is a juggling act that defies reason.
I wrote about this last year in my post, Slow Down and Breathe. The steps I wrote then are absolutely still valid, so I am giving them to you again. I hope you find them helpful this year.
Life is about creating balance, and the following thoughts may help you find balance and achieve holiday peace.
Thoughts to Holiday Peace
1. Plan Ahead: Keep your calendar updated so you can see what is coming. Know what needs to happen and is expected at each event to reduce the surprises. For example, if you must make a dish-to-pass for every party, you will need to find the recipes (or several, as is my case) then you can plan and pick up all the ingredients for the recipe ahead of time.
2. Reduce the “Events”: Not every holiday party or even is a “must” attend. Decide which ones are the most important and go only to these. Not everyone will understand, but you must take care of you. Attempting to attend every event is a recipe for exhaustion.
3. Reduce Gifting: Although there seems to be a competition for the biggest, better than last year, gift-giving season, this can create pressure, stress, and, of course, debt. For the most part, we have what we need – for some, we have too much. Do we really need that next gadget? Do my kids really need that “must have” toy?
4. Take Time for Yourself: Do things for yourself like long baths, nights out with your partner, or alone time. Have fun. It’s so difficult to give and give, without taking the time to recharge yourself. The exhaustion and burnout can make for an unpleasant holiday season.
5. Breathe: Just 5 minutes each morning of deep breathing can set the tone for the entire day. Breathing can detoxify your system, lower your stress and help you sleep better at night.
I will be talking about creating balance in your life in the following weeks. Balance isn’t something you achieve all at once; some say one can never find balance. In a sense that may be true, however, being aware of when and where your life gets thrown out of balance is powerful. Once you can see where that imbalance is in your life, you can make choices to improve.
Choice is important when seeking balance. Without it, each of us is subject to the whims of life. Not that things still won’t come up, by actively seeking a balance and making the best choices for that present moment will help you move through whatever bump in the road you may encounter.
I hope you have the Holiday season you are seeking. In whatever form that takes.