Rekindle Your Spirit in Ten Minutes Flat
Here comes the holidays barreling down the calendar track. Are you frantic, checking an endless litany of musts off your overloaded holiday to-do list each day?
Even if you feel great about the approaching holidays, and are mostly on top of all of the extra tasks that come with them, you can still hit your limit now and then. Once your holly-jollies start running on fumes, these steps will remind you how to hit the reset button so you can make a quick comeback.
The frenetic pace is undeniable at this time of year-planning, shopping, parties, travel. However, all day, every day, you get to choose whether to act, react, respond, or detach. You’ll know you need a break if you feel consistently grumpy and stressed out. When this happens, take ten minutes to re-evaluate your day. No matter how much you still have to do, anyone can spare a few minutes.
You may be attempting to accomplish too much most days because of holiday pressure coming from inside and out. But your holidays are more likely to be imperfect rather than perfect. Ironically, the more we try to jam into our waking hours, the less we feel like we are in the flow. The key is to stop pushing. So drop the willpower and try to relax yourself back into a more natural flow of tasks instead.
Find a chair or sit on the floor against a wall. Breathe in and breathe out. Just sit for a few moments, relax, and do nothing except breathe. What you are doing is using breath to slow down time. Of course, you can’t really control the clock, but you can change how time feels to you by getting back in touch with your senses. So, when inevitable stresses strike and mistakes happen: simply sit, breathe, and take a few moments to collect yourself.
Once you can maintain a feeling of calm, pay attention to what is going on inside you. What you are looking for is your inner compass. Some folks call their intuition the still, small voice; others may rely on their inner Jiminy Cricket. It really doesn’t matter what you call your intuition, as long as you can tune in to it. Practice staying tuned in whether in calm or busy environments. If you can stay tuned in and trust your gut no matter what else is going on, you’ll be the happiest person around.
Now that you are calm, cool, and collected, take a moment to appreciate one thing. Consider something simple: notice a pretty wreath, or re-read a lovely message from a friend. Whatever you genuinely feel positive about counts. Take a couple of moments to appreciate little things until you feel a smile spread across your face.
No doubt, once you stop thinking about good things, a few stressful things that have been lined up waiting for your attention will pop into your mind and start jumping up and down and waving their arms. But here’s the thing. You just got yourself into a pretty good place. If nagging worry keeps dogging you, just acknowledge the concern and gently wave it to the side as though clearing a butterfly from your path.
Ease back into your day, moving forward mindfully. Drop the list for now. What is the single next most important thing to do next? Intersperse actions with self-care. Take short breaks after completing a series of tasks. Have small snacks throughout the day so you don’t overeat at mealtime. Maybe put your list away for a little while. Later, pull your list back out, and check a few more things off of it. But don’t become a slave to your to-dos. Remember, you set the tone for your holiday. And you can stay in charge by taking excellent care of yourself.
10 Steps to a More Joyful Holiday Season
- Go to bed by 10 pm each night
- Get up an hour earlier and have some daily you-time
- Watch all your favorite holiday movies
- Take a long winter’s nap
- Put a stack of inspirational books on your nightstand
- Write down your blessings
- Make a list of gifts you want and distribute it
- Take a long, hot bath with music and bath salts
- Listen to inspirational talks, podcasts or books on tape
- Say kind things to yourself all day long