It’s the first week of December and my calendar is full. We
have school functions, water polo tournaments, church functions, family visits
and myriad other holiday-related activities that seem to punctuate most people’s
calendars this time of year. Adding anything else at this point will require some
serious juggling, and possibly forms – filled out in triplicate, I suspect…
going on at our house – and I like it that way. I do not, however, like the
stress that comes with being over-scheduled. As we entered this month, I was already
feeling a little over-committed. I knew that I needed to do something.
and I was inspired to develop the habit of starting my day with a morning
meditation. What a difference a few
minutes of daily meditation makes! (I’d like to tell you that I have
consistently meditated every morning, but I have missed a few… which is how I
can tell you that I notice the difference when I don’t do it.)
with Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations. You can find more information here.
of joyous celebration. It’s a time for gathering together with those you love.
Holiday Season that causes some people to stress-out and go overboard?
favorite holiday movies. Who cannot relate, at least a little, to Clark
Griswald’s desire to create the perfect Christmas for his family? We all
sympathize as he carries on despite Fate throwing curve after curve at him. He
finally snaps, but only when it appears that he has let his family down. He can
shrug off disaster after disaster, but the thought of personally disappointing
his family is more than he can bear, and he loses it. How many of us live under
that type of self-imposed pressure during the holidays?
go there. So, I set my attention on the intention of keeping this holiday
season as stress-free as possible, despite the many activities my children,
husband and I are involved in.
happen to keep this holiday season as happy, bright, joyful and connected as
possible for me and my family?
my calendar each week. It’s not an answer I would naturally gravitate to, but I am going
to trust the wisdom of my inner guidance. I know that the idea of scheduling downtime probably
sounds obvious to some of you, but I am one of those can’t-just-sit-and-watch-TV
types. I don’t do downtime well, but I am really good at multi-tasking! I have blocked the Friday evenings as family/downtime (not all of my Fridays were open, so I used Sunday evening as an alternate). We have more Fridays open than Sundays this month, so it worked better, but I suspect Sunday will be the regular day if I
decide to continue this beyond the holidays.
family (or those family members who are available – I’m not going to increase
my stress level by turning this into an attendance required activity). Maybe we
will drive around to look at Christmas lights, or watch a holiday movie, or
just take a walk. Maybe I’ll convince my children to put away their electronics
and play Scrabble or Monopoly. Maybe we will bake some cookies… as long as it
is fun! I do not intend to use the time to start a project – no cleaning out
closets or reorganizing the garage.
special stress. Whether it’s the cantankerous, eccentric relatives, or the
turkey that wouldn’t cooperate, there will likely be moments that threaten to
push you to the limit. When that happens, actually, preferably before that
happens, take some time to ask yourself what you need from this holiday season.
The answer might be far simpler than you think.