1. Set an intention for this holiday season. It can be as broad or specific as you wish, but take a moment to consider how you’d like to spend this time and where you want to focus your time and energy. This simple action creates awareness, and will help you prioritize.
2. Acknowledge your entrenched holiday habits. The force of habit (also known as our habit energy) is the momentum that propels us down familiar paths in life. Even when we’ve acknowledged the need to change our habits, it’s easy to stay in auto-pilot. You likely have specific holiday patterns, such as rushing, over-committing, overspending or over consuming. What else? Without blaming yourself, look at these habits and ask: Do these habits serve me well?
3. Practice compassionate listening with friends and family. In order to truly appreciate the time we have with loved-ones, we must be fully present. The perfect times to practice compassionate listing are times when it’s most difficult to remain present--when we have disagreements with loved ones, or strong emotions arise. When we leave our body and disconnect our consciousness from the present moment, we miss valuable lessons, connections and understanding. Remember to observe with care whatever emotions are present for you, and treat yourself with loving compassion.
4.Take time to do nothing. Even a few restful moments in between activities, or at the end of the night, can reduce stress and improve awareness and mood. Remember: Doing nothing doesn't mean checking email or chatting on the phone. Need some help winding down? Consult the Doing Nothing Guide.
5. Just breathe. We put so much on our to-do list that we may be stacking up tasks back to back. We need mini breaks to refresh ourselves. For example, if you are waiting for a slice of bread to come out of the toaster, refrain from doing another task. Take the two minutes to just breathe…
Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Photo by Muffet, from the Creative Commons