As we approach the arrival of the holidays, everyone has started marking their calendars with plans and festivities. Most of us have strict itineraries including people we need to visit, shopping lists to complete and events to attend.
By the end of it all, we look back only to realize that we've spent our time consumed with everything holiday-related and we've lost our spirit altogether. The spirit of giving, joy and wonder are lost in the whirlwind of planning and preparing.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are about spending quality time with your loved ones and appreciating all there is to be grateful for. During the holidays this year, we encourage you to avoid getting carried away with your to-do list and make time to engage in meaningful activities with your loved ones. This year, make your presence a present!
Here are some tips to get more enjoyment out of what the season has to offer:
1. Trim down your responsibilities - It is important to prioritize what you will enjoy doing this holiday. If it feels like a chore, rather than holiday fun, this may be a good time to exercise the word "no." You won't be able to do everything or make it to every event, so don't feel guilty for declining the occasional invite or opting for a night in with your family.
2. Be present - The best gifts you can give are those that come from the heart. This includes you gifting your full attention, whether it's baking cookies with your kids or catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee, turn on your active listening skills and enjoy making memories.
3. Be merry and bright - Block time off each day to be intentional and express gratitude. Whether it be through taking a short walk, journaling, or spending some time in silence, look around and take an inventory of what you have to be grateful for. A grateful heart leads to an uplifted, positive attitude, which is exactly what you'll need to survive the holiday commotion.
4. Unplug - Social media is a great way to stay connected with family and friends, especially during the holidays! Too much screen time, though, can result in us comparing ourselves and lives to others or feel pressure to post a picture perfect holiday scene. Steer clear of the unnecessary pressure and avoid over-using your social accounts. Keep the browsing, liking, and posting to a minimum and cherish your surroundings.
5. Relax and enjoy - Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of delightful treats - use the holiday season as a time to indulge in festive treats. Eat mindfully, choose your favorite dishes and taste the goodness!