The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be enough to fray anyone’s nerves. Is it just me or do the weekends seem more like work lately and the workweek more like down time? My calendar on my iPhone looks like a Jackson Pollock painting. Sigh. I find that there are small pockets of time that I have to myself; driving to work after drop-off, sitting in the bathroom stall at work (come on you know you do it too), or those few extra minutes right before picking up the kids (right before you walk have to go in, just one…more…minute). Time is precious. Fleeting. Passing us. And yet, another holiday season, about to pass us (time to step up my shopping). If you are feeling frazzled by the fun, stressed by the season, or just can’t take another Elf on a Shelf picture on Facebook. Here’s some advice to get you through the next few weeks.
Just Breathe: Simple. Breathe. In and out. Take a deep breath. A good, deep belly breath. A lot of time when we are stressed we breathe thoracically (in our upper chest area) and not in our bellies where we should breathe. Deep diaphragmatic breaths are wonderful for our bodies and our brains and refresh our immune system. Create clarity and focus and diaphragmatic breathing is a wonderful stress management tool.
Tune Out and Tune In: Turn off social media and tune in to the people and relationships around you that bring you joy and make you feel whole. Often time, during this time of year, we compare ourselves to others; how others decorate their homes, what that stupid Elf is doing (yeah I said it), and vacations and trips people are going on, what people are eating, selfies, I can go on. Calm the F* down. Step away from the social media. I bet and chances are, your life is pretty amazing. If you pay attention, are present, and spend time with the people you love and places in your community you love, watch what happens. Pure magic!
Get outside: This time of year is glorious to get outside and experience nature in its purest form! Take a hike on a beautiful trail, experience the arts, and go see a play or a show or just take a beautiful stroll in the center of town. Just get out there and get moving with the people you love. Reconnect.
Enjoy the silence: Depeche Mode fans you too, but too all, enjoy the stillness of the season and the silence. Winter is a time for stillness and to rediscover your roots, your foundation and to reconnect to the center of you and your family. Be still by doing small things, like enjoying a cup of coffee, reading a chapter of a book or article, sitting in the sun, going for a walk or run, grab the family and go for a drive. Whatever it is, enjoy it and savor these moments.
Time is a temporary thing. Hold on to the simple and small moments of the season and cherish them, before we know it we will be talking about spring thaws and summer vacations. Enjoy the silence.
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