The Holiday Season is upon us, bringing the lights, food, music, snow (hopefully), and family gatherings. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? The holidays are meant to be a “joyous” time, but for many it is a time of stress, grief, conflict, and busyness. It doesn’t have to be this way.
I love Christmas because one of the ways I show my love is to give gifts. But I want it to be the perfect gift. Something that the person really needs or wants. Something that will lighten their burden or make them smile. In the years past my family has decided to change the way we exchange gifts by doing a service or making something homemade as a gift.
So this month I want to change the way we see gifts. I have noticed that many of my clients are very giving and sacrifice a lot for those they love, but at times this leaves them feeling stressed, tired, and unfulfilled. What can you gift yourself this Holiday Season? Maybe it will be simplifying and buying less, or spending more time with family, or taking time to ponder and meditate, or simply being in the moment. Maybe you can receive something from yourself this year.
GIFT RECEIVING CORNER:
Gift #1- Simplify your Holidays….I hope that you can slow down, breathe, be mindful, and give yourself the best gift... the gift of your presence. My gift to you is this short meditation to calm your nerves, focus your mind, and relax into your body.
Take time as the season begins to sit down with a cup of tea or hot cocoa and ponder what this season means to you. Set an intention for what you would like to receive this season. Maybe you want to feel more peace, connection, or rest. What would an ideal holiday feel like to you?
Plan ahead the experiences you want to have. Discuss this with your family. Maybe it’s sponsoring a family in need, watching holiday movies by the fire, a dinner gathering without cell phones, or attending a worship service or live nativity.
Communicate plans, needs, and boundaries. Who will be where when? Who is responsible for what? Get input from family and friends about what they plan on, want and/or need. Communicate your needs and let people know what you will and won’t be doing this year. “We have decided to simplify Christmas this year by giving to a cause rather than buying gifts.”
Take time for Self-Care each day. This may be scheduling time for your morning tea, reading, eating fresh food, exercise, music, meditation, massage, journaling your thoughts/feelings, diffuse oils or use candles, or simply unplug and interact with others.
Breathe slowly. Remember when you notice your shoulders tighten or your hands are clenched, to close your eyes and take in a breath, counting to 4 and then releasing for 4. Do this as many times as you need until you feel calm.
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