A lot can happen during the holidays and the time leading up to the holiday season. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, thrown off track, and like life is way too busy and a struggle to keep up with.
I know this because I have often felt this way in years past, during the holiday season, and other busy times, such as my children’s birthdays( which are close together), or during a close family wedding.
I want to share with you a few ways that I stay grounded and centred during these busy times. I hope they help you to do the same during this upcoming holiday season, or any other busy time in your life.
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Start From a Calm Place
Whatever we do, we carry the energy of how we felt when we first thought about it and made our plans pertaining to that situation. How we see things and the perspective we take, are shaped by how we are feeling at the time and the energy we were in.
So, before we drop into drill sergeant mode to ensure we are productive and efficient, it’s helpful to rethink how we approach busy or pressured situations. If we try to tackle things from a panicked or frenzied state, we will only get more of the same energy that we put out. This chaotic energy will flow into the experiences we have, causing things to be much harder than they need to be.
If we want something to go well and to have a pleasant experience along the way, it helps to first think about it when we feel positive, calm, or centred, and attempt to only think about it when we are in this state. When you can do this, anything you want to work on, or bring into existence, will always go your way, and work out for you. Even if the details shift, you will still leave feeling satisfied, for that is the intention that you set, and that is the energy you started with.
So, try to find a way to centre yourself, still your mind, and come to a peaceful place, such as exercise, journaling, taking a long, hot bath or shower, cooking, or listening to soothing music. For myself, I like to use meditation for this, however any self care that helps you feel calm and quiets your mind will help you get into a calm and neutral space.
Make A List Of What Must Happen For You To Be Satisfied
Once you are in a centered and calm place, make a list of the things you absolutely must do in order for you to be able to walk away from this upcoming experience, satisfied. What are the things you will truly cherish during this time? Spending time with your loved ones? Taking in all the beauty that surrounds you during this magical time? Giving to those you love? You can start with general concepts, and then get more specific.
Make A Second List – Would Be Nice, It’s Alright If It Doesn’t
Make another list of, what would be nice, however it’s OK if it doesn’t happen. These may be extra things, or things that maybe perhaps you have always done as a tradition, however now when you stop to think about it, you don’t particularly enjoy this or feel content from carrying it out. It may be something you’ve done because someone else always wanted to do it, but now you may feel that it doesn’t make your top priority list today.
When we learn to release our grip a bit, when we learn to let go of doing all the things, and doing all of them perfectly, we reduce the stress we feel and we actually enjoy this special time more. We can truly only enjoy things in the present moment, and when we are stressed and worried about things in the future, we are not present, leading us to miss on out joy that is bountifully available to us. We don’t actually need all the things on our lists to go perfectly for us to be happy, what we actually need is to be present enough to be open to the love, peace and joy that surrounds us in every moment.
Visualize it Going Well
Once both lists are done, we are going to visualize the season going well. What does that look like and feel like? Imagine yourself after the season has passed, what happened during it, that you are happy about?
For example, for Christmas, are you happy your kids got to make cookies with you and leave them out for Santa? Are you content with that you and your partner went to see Christmas lights? Are you happy with that you put thought into the presents you gave and the recipients were thrilled and appreciative? Are you satisfied with the dinner you hosted and the delicious food you made and served to your loved ones?
Notice how you feel within your body, your heart and your mind. Notice the energy flowing through your body as you envision positive outcomes. What feelings do you feel?
Tap Into The Good Vibes
Whenever we work on things or partake in an activity on our list, we are going to tap into this very same energy and the very same feelings. Tapping into this energy will help things go smoothly, keep you calm and centered, and allow you to be present and enjoy these beautiful moments.
Also, try to single task as much as possible, enjoy one task from start to finish, instead of purposely putting yourself in a frenzied state by multitasking. A lot of the chaos we experience during busy times is self imposed. When we are not used to single tasking and doing things from a calm place, we unintentionally harm our mental wellbeing, by multitasking and pressuring ourselves to do multiple things at once, thinking that it will help us to succeed. True success however is feeling joy, joy that can only be felt when we are present and connected to the now. We can find joy along the way to our desired outcomes, and it’s up to us to bring ourselves to a space where we are calm enough to let it in this joy.
Continue Your Regular Routine
In the days leading up to the big day, continue your regular self care, or your regular routine as much as possible, for this is what keeps you grounded. On your busiest days, if you can wake up a little earlier and give yourself some solo time, doing the things you usually do for yourself, whatever they may be, such as sipping your coffee in silence, exercising, journaling, practicing gratitude, etc, then you will feel more calm and centred during this time, and not be taken away from yourself as easily.
Don’t Leave Things Until The Last Minute (when possible)
Try not to leave too much to the last minute, as this will put you into a frenzy or make you feel anxious. Instead try to sprinkle in your preparations and tasks, during your regular days in advance of the super busy periods, spread out over as much time as you can give yourself. I like to keep my regular routine for as long as possible, so I will sprinkle in a task every day or so in the time leading up to the big day. The more I can do from a positive, non-rushed place, the better I feel, and the better results I have. When we do things this way, positive momentum builds, and things will keep happening smoothly. If hiccups do arise, we are in a steadier state of mind, where finding solutions is easier. Some things are hard to do in advance in such a hectic time however, so if you are left with last minutes things to do, try to breathe and centre yourself before attempting them. Try to tap into the calm energy you achieved earlier, which will allow the multiple things you do have to do, to be less frenzied.
Check In With Yourself
On Christmas Day, or the day of your event, it is definitely harder to fit in any of your regular self care or routine activities. Thus, if you cannot do anything for yourself that you would usually do, try to check in with yourself throughout the day. Start in the morning, and aim for at least a couple times in the day where you stop and ask yourself how you are doing, and what do you need?
On extremely busy days such as these, I sometimes will lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes just to give myself some breathing room and space to centre myself, away from all of the festivities and socializing, even if just for a moment. These little check in’s are life saving if you’re an introvert like me! Whatever it is you may need that day to allow yourself a break, be sure to give that to yourself.
The Power of Choice
Remember it’s ok to be selective to what you say yes, to and what you say no to. At the end of the day, you have to answer to yourself for how you feel after the holidays. You don’t want to run yourself ragged just to make sure the holidays are perfect. You are worth much more than what you produce or how the season goes. Your health and wellness are always most important, so if you find yourself feeling unwell, it’s alright to scale back, to change your mind, and to change your plans. Your family needs you to be well, and you need yourself to be well. So, always keep your wellbeing in mind before you agree to take on another event or task, especially when your plate, and your schedule is already full. It’s your job to take care of you lovely, during the holiday season and every other season.
Sending you love and light this holiday season my friends,