Ah, the holidays are upon us, and it is the most wonderful time of the year! My hope is that you enjoy each and every moment of this holiday season.
And, of course, this time of year can be incredibly stressful. Oftentimes, satisfying everyone on your list, making the special foods they love, and attending all of the extra special events can feel overwhelming.
Below are a few reminders of the things you can to do to make this year even more magical.
Focus on the positive: take time to reflect on the warmth and joy the holidays can bring, and relish the time with loved ones and the memories you’re creating together while engaging in festive activities.
Plan and organize: Create a plan for holiday preparations, and be sure to take them in small steps, that will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Give yourself plenty of time to get things done, too, so you can enjoy both doing them and the sense of accomplishment you get when they’re completed.
Set realistic expectations: This goes along with the planning, you will be much happier when you keep in mind there will be setbacks, not everything will go as planned, and that the beauty is in the messiness.
Embrace Flexibility: Be open to changes and adjustments – know that some flights are going to be delayed or canceled, or that the turkey you thought was okay turns out not to be, it will all be okay, especially when you’re able to flex and change.
Prioritize Self-Care: Be sure to nurture your physical and mental well-being. Make time for the activities that energize you. And, to the extent possible, keep up your normal routines. Make sure you get enough rest, exercise and healthy foods to sustain you throughout the season.
Create Meaningful Traditions: The tradition my family looks forward to is sipping (and for some, gulping) delicious homemade eggnog. In yours, it may include the favorite foods you serve or the games you play with family and friends. Focus on those things that bring joy and meaning to you and your loved ones.
Most importantly, be present. Being present is incredibly powerful and meaningful especially when you practice it while you sit and carefully watch someone open a gift without distraction, or you take a few minutes to completely connect with someone, fully attentive, curious, and interested. It’s truly in those moments that the real magic of the holiday comes through.