It’s that time of year again! Holiday season! If you are like me, the holidays are a like a box of chocolates, a variety of experiences! Seriously, so much joy, anxiety, frustration, fun, love, challenge, family, and friends. I can’t imagine not sharing the holidays with every single person I get the share life with, yet, I know my best will be challenged while simultaneously loving someone or something and being completely overjoyed! If you get the joy of experiencing life in every facet during the holiday season, this piece is for you! Following are some tips to help you experience more of the harmony and less of the harm of the season:
· Practice self-care through meditation or quiet time. Perhaps make it the start of your day. Wake 15 to 30 minutes earlier than normal to give yourself the gift of quiet time.
o Set a timer.
o Sit quietly or perhaps enjoy some quiet meditative music.
o Sit comfortably.
o Close your eyes.
o Focus on your breath, notice the inhales and the exhales. As thoughts creep into your mind, acknowledge them and return your attention to your breath until you hear the timer.
o As your time comes to a close, make a commitment to face the day and all that comes to you with peace. If you peace is disrupted at anytime during this day, acknowledge the moment, let it go, and recommit.
o Each day is a new day and sometimes each day begins several times throughout the day!
· Take 3 deep breaths before every meeting with people. Clear your mind, let go of expectations, bring your best to the time you have with the people you encounter.
o Give the gift of making the time with others about them!
o Ask questions about their family, their life, their interests, their home, etc.
o Try not to respond with a comparison of your life. Respond with terms of encouragement.
o When someone is facing a challenge or struggle, try to respond with questions rather than advice. Be interested in what they are doing to live their best life and show respect for the ways they think are best to face their challenges.
o Treat others as if you think they are more important than you, even those that act like they are more important than you feed their ego and give them the love they are seeking.
· Focus on the positives and your why! What do I mean? I struggle at times with the gathering of the masses. It isn’t easy to be with everyone, but I have come to know I wouldn’t want to sit at home alone and everyone plays a role in the experience. Some teach me how to love better through their gracious and loving ways, some teach me what not to do and how not to act, some inspire me with their perseverance through health issues and struggles, some teach me compassion and empathy, non-judgment. Everyone in the room brings value to my life. It’s not always easy and it never will be, there are too many people and too many encounters, BUT I wouldn’t change any of it. I hope this helps you and I hope you have the best holiday season!
*As seen in At Home Memphis & Midsouth Magazine