How to make your December less stressful
Ah the holidays!
A time of shopping, to-do lists, decorating, wrapping, baking, visiting, spending, dinners, and a lot of go-go-go!
Last night, as I watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with my daughter for the four-hundredth time (she’s a year-round fan), I was feeling anxious about all I needed to accomplish in the next few weeks. Work, home, holidays, commitments…all the thoughts were bouncing around in my head. But then I remembered the importance of slowing down and taking a moment, particularly during busy times such as these.
Taking a moment
I took a breath and looked my daughter sitting there in her little rocking chair, watching this movie that she’s seen so many times. I listened to her laughter when the grinch was slinking around on his stomach stealing all things Christmas, and watched her joy when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes and he found the strength of ten grinches (plus two). I took in the room, the first few Christmas decorations that were up, and saw my parents sitting there watching the movie with us as if they had not seen the Grinch and his shenanigans countless times. I had been so stressed, but instead, I now felt such a wonderful sense of gratitude.
It’s so easy to get caught up in everything we have to do, that we forget to have gratitude for everything we have. Mindfulness is about taking the time to slow down, take in the world around us, reflect on what is in front of us instead of thinking so much about what is coming up next. Not only does this reduce stress and foster opportunities for gratitude, but it serves to make you a more active participant in your own life instead of someone who lets life’s moments just slip past.
So be sure so take some time this holiday season.
Look, listen, feel, hear, and even smell (particularly if there are cookies in the oven) all that is around you. Soak up these snapshots in time, because while the big moments are great, most of your life is made up of all these little moments woven together. Your life will be fuller and your heart may grow even bigger, just like the Grinch’s did!
Our regular blog-writer Marion has written some lovely posts on mindfulness. Be sure to check out her past post on finding joy through mindfulness during the holiday season.