|Source: Microsoft Images|
It's the time of year when things get busier than usual. Perhaps you're starting to feel the pressure and the jolly is ebbing away like the tide.
Why not stop for a moment and breathe deeply. Again. Now ask yourself this big question:
1. Is everything on your To-Do list really necessary to make your holiday merry and bright? Really? What could you pare down? Maybe it's not even something huge, just a small adjustment. Keep what's important and rule out what might just be excess and clutter for you this year.
For example, I really enjoying writing and sending greeting cards and letters to keep in touch with people, so most years I make time for this tradition. But I know lots of people find it a huge burden. (Some year I have too, so I didn't do it then.) If it's just a chore -- and your heart's not in it -- who says it has to stay a part of your holiday tradition this year...or any year? Can you just send e-notes or Facebook messages? Would that help? Do the things that make your heart sing and rejoice.
2. Schedule a date with a friend -- someone you don't see often but wish you could. Visit a local site like a greenhouse that's all gussied up and where the air is fragrant with blossoms and balsam. Browse through their Christmas displays. Then relax over a steaming latte in a cozy setting.
3. Treat your body like a queen instead of a slave. One way is to stay away from foods that make you feel heavy and uncomfortable. Of course, we all want to enjoy the rich foods that come out only at Christmas time, but I'm learning to temper that with eating things that don't make me feel sluggish afterward. For instance, we go through boxes of mandarin oranges at this time of year. They are a treat, they have lots of vitamin C, and yet they don't make me feel heavy when I've eaten them.
4. Carve out mini rests for yourself during the day. And I do mean mini -- just 60 seconds can make a difference. I'm always surprised at how long a minute actually feels when I stop doing and just 'be' awhile. For me, the key is to focus on relaxing and not think about what I'll do when I start moving again.
5. See photo. You already know the so-familiar tip everyone mentions so I'm not even saying it out loud, but you know... it works.
Here's hoping these ideasadd to the peace and joy that we long for these Advent days.