The holiday season is officially upon us. For some, it is a time of joy, family and connection. For others, the holidays can amplify feelings of stress, loneliness or expectation. However you view the holiday season, it is important to be gentle with yourself so that you won’t just survive this season, you will thrive.
Take a stand for your own mind, body and Spirit. Prioritizing your own well-being is not selfish, it’s an act of love that will benefit not only you, but those around you.
- Guard Your Time and Manage Expectations. Perhaps the biggest source of holiday stress is time and the expectations to do All. The. Things. Approaching the holidays from a sense of obligation rather than the beauty and blessings of this time will undoubtedly put a crimp in the joy that is the promise of the season. Make a promise to yourself to do more of that which makes you happy without overextending yourself to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion.
- Take Care of Your Body. Too much food and drink and not enough sleep will make any body sluggish. That is not to say that you have to stick to a strict diet during the holidays, or forego those holiday gatherings that keep you up late. Those are, after all, some of the things that foster beautiful connection and memories that last a lifetime. But be mindful of how your body is feeling as you navigate the season. If you want to just spend an evening curled up on the couch in front of a classic movie or good book, then do that. If you want to sleep in, do that. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself! It’s not only allowed, it’s one of the most precious and important gifts you can give yourself! It’s true what they say: you cannot pour from an empty cup. Make it a point to fill yours this holiday season!
- Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle. Being grateful for what you already have is the surest way to increase your joy. Remember that you are exactly where you are meant to be at this point in time. And while each of you are on a soul journey that is uniquely yours, do not forget to take stock and express gratitude for where you are now, knowing that as you do, you will attract more to be grateful for.
- Exercise Your Compassion Muscle. As you take loving, gentle care of yourself, you will be effortlessly inspired to feel and express compassion and love for others. Compassion and love are not energies meant to be hoarded; they are meant to be expressed and spread to everyone you meet, friends, family and strangers alike.
However you enjoy this season, go into it with your eyes and heart open to the wonders that is this season, and maybe, just maybe, you will start realizing that this way of living was meant to be enjoyed all year long!