So here we are rapidly approaching the holiday season. As you read that sentence, did your stress level increase? Did your muscles tense, teeth clench, stomach turn? Do the holidays make you happy? Or stress you beyond belief? Most every year, I do a column talking about finding ways to enjoy the holidays. Well, here is this year’s!
My suggestion to this year (very similar to last year’s, and the year before that and the year before that, etc.) is to slow down and notice all the things that you truly enjoy. The small things. Like the amazing smells of the holiday season. The tastes! Yesterday, I got my first egg nog of the season! Be aware of your family’s traditions and totally get into them.
The most important thing is to very mindfully slow down and actually experience the holiday season. It is very sad to wake up some time in January and say, “What happened to the holidays?! I missed it!” We often do miss it because we are too busy trying to take care of everything.
My challenge to you during this busy time of the year (actually, this is a wonderful thing to do every day, no matter what season we are in) is to take 10 minutes out of your day and totally experience something. It might be the sight of kids playing; it might be listening to Christmas carols; it might be truly tasting pumpkin pie. You can find 10 minutes in your day and stop. And be. You can give yourself that gift. It is amazing what a difference it makes in your life.
Enjoy the day. Enjoy the season. Enjoy the journey.