As the days get a little cooler and Southern California finally feels like fall, it’s very common to jump right into “the holidays” – a term we all like to throw around like a big balloon. Maybe hearing about “the holidays” brings up feelings of warmth and love and maybe it sends panic through your spine. Whatever your reaction, we all could benefit from taking a few steps back from the popular saying and truly settling into the deep feelings of gratitude and joy this time should bring.
Here are a few things we can all do to quiet our mind and rest any anxiety that arises. Also remember, by “quieting” and pacifying your own soul, you’ll spread the feeling to those around you.
This may sound like such a kindergarten basic, but without a plan you’re stuck before you’ve even begun. Whatever your perceived stress may be – hosting a celebratory meal (or five), navigating airports with luggage and little ones, finding the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list, dealing with a house full of relatives who hate your dress, job, significant other, etc., or even the thought of “oh no, another slice of pie?!” – a PLAN is going to save your day.
See if you can set aside a few minutes to think through the hours, days or weeks of activity and come up with a game plan. Jot down a few notes to keep yourself on track. Make sure to include scheduled times to workout, do yoga or go for a quick walk around the block. Having these personal “appointments” may be just the trick to keeping yourself sane!
Take a step back. Again. Put your turkey/potatoes/pie in the oven or on the counter and step outside. Excuse yourself from a crowded cocktail hour and take a few breaths. Put on some headphones in the airport and check out for just one minute. Giving yourself the opportunity to expand your lungs and wipe the “holiday” funk from your mind works tremendously to calm the whole body and soul.
Try to take 30 seconds every day to practice pausing. As you become more comfortable with the idea of walking away (just for a moment!) from something that needs your attention, it will be more and more effective in clearing out your mind. This is a concept of detachment – which is actually one of the purposes of doing yoga! See if you can cultivate it in your own life slowly by calling it a “pause”.
PERFECTION: LET IT GO
After all of your planning and pausing, somethings may still just not go the way you would have liked. LET THEM GO. It’s okay if dinner is not served at the moment you expected. It’s fine if an unexpected guest shows up to your party! Your plane may be delayed, your desired treasure sold out of stores. You may have that extra slice of pie (or five) – and that is perfect, that is living.
By opening our hearts and embracing imperfection, we let the holiday spirit in. See if TODAY you can start to manifest this acceptance that things may not go as planned, your meditation may not work, but you can still move forward and spread love and joy this season!
I sincerely hope that your holidays are filled with happiness and that these few concepts can pull more light into the final months of 2015.
Have you tried any of these techniques? Is there a method we didn’t mention? We want to hear from you!