Are you dreading the holidays because you know that when it is all over you will be exhausted, defeated, ten pounds heavier, and hanging on to your very last nerve?
You are not alone. There is a reason that this time of year is considered the most stressful when it should be the happiest. We have unrealistic expectations. We expect perfect family meals, glittery parties, and the perfect shopping excursions. In reality we have arguments, hangovers, and a deep need to hide in a closet until June. The season passes us by, we barely get to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and the Christmas lights are out, and New Year's Day becomes a finish line.
Mindfulness is a better way. Here are 5 tips for staying mindful and enjoying your holiday this year.
1. Forget perfect. Give up your subscription to the Hallmark Channel! No one has a perfect holiday. Instead of working to have everything go perfectly try laughing at the imperfection. Nothing says Christmas in our house like having to pick up the tree from the floor 3 mornings in a row.
2. Breathe it all in. When you feel overwhelmed take 2 minutes to stop and breathe. Sit in a quiet corner, and focus on simply breathing in and out. Try to extend your exhale 1-2 seconds longer than your inhale for a few rounds. Before you know it you will be refreshed and ready to take on the next thing.
3. Take a hike. Literally! Bundle up, put a leash on the dog and hit the trails. A little weather is a good thing.
4. Be crafty. Instead of spending hours shoulder to shoulder with strangers, gather up the kids and put together some homemade gifts. Remember to forget perfection and go with it! Some of my most valued gifts over the years didn't come from stores.
5. Savor the flavor. You work hard all year to create a well balanced diet- don't let it all go down the drain because you have excess calories on every surface. Choose foods that you especially like and don't waste calories on foods that are mediocre. Slow down, set a pretty table and eat every little snack like it is a special meal.