It's very easy to lose one's self around the holidays, and I'm not just talking about losing yourself in an over-crowded parking lot amongst a sea of cars, weighed down by two-arm loads of shopping bags. And though not being able to find your parking spot outside of a mall can cause one to lose their mind, the effects of losing one's "centered self" can be more hazardous to your physical and mental health.
Instead of channeling all our efforts into the commercial aspects of the holidays, we should remember to focus on the important things in our lives, and according to author and motivational speaker Cheryl Vallejos, the following seven tips will help you stay centered in the holiday madness:
- Giving: When you focus on how you can give, you wind up receiving so much in return. Giving, however, doesnt need to be about how much you spend on presents. Consider giving as an expression of caring and a way of saying thank you. The gift you give family members and friends says thank you for being in my life.
- Receiving: Additionally, you need to be a good receiver, since those who appreciate you need to show it too. So accept that purple striped tie that you find obnoxious or the box of chocolates you cant eat, with grace and a smile.
- Gratitude: Its unfortunate that we need a holiday like Thanksgiving to remember to be grateful for what we have and to express gratitude to those we appreciate. When sending holiday greetings to family, or friends, take the time to add a personal note and tell each one what you value about him or her.
- Connection: What a great excuse to spend time with those you usually dont have time for. At work, youll enjoy being with your co-workers and staff in a social context and getting to know them in a deeper way. This in turn can only enhance your working relationship. At home, you may connect with family members and loved ones you only see at holidays. This keeps that contact alive and replenishes your heart.
- Celebration: Its time to party. New Years Eve is especially a great time to kick up your heels, drink champagne and dance the night away. You work hard all year, so you deserve some playtime. Get into the spirit of the New Year and celebrate in the way that works for you. Some enjoy partying while others prefer a quiet celebration: a hike in the woods, a walk on the beach time to reflect on the year past and the year ahead. Create the observance of these occasions with meaningful activities.
- Renewal: Holidays are everyones excuse to take a break, and that means you, too! Your body and your brain need some time off when you dont think at all about your work. Allow yourself at least a few days at Christmas/Chanukah and the New Year to wind down. With a rested body and mind, youll be full of energy and creativity for a terrific year ahead.
- Planning: Take time during the holidays to plan for the year ahead. Review what worked and didn't work, then make new choices. Hold a year-end staff meeting and discuss over eggnog how everyone is feeling about their jobs and what suggestions they have for the New Year. It's a great bonding experience and a boon to a new profitable and successful year.
Getting Re-Acquainted With Yourself
Another way to keep yourself centered is by focusing on you.Typically, we run around during the holidays, pre-occupied with the welfare of others, often forgetting about our own. So this holiday season, before you lose yourself, take a moment for yourself with the following tips:
- Be Self-indulgent. Get a relaxing massage, buy that fantastic item that you've had your eye on. As a gift to yourself, draw yourself a luxurious bubble-bath, or even indulge yourself in a holiday makeover offered at many local department stores or salons. By pampering yourself, you'll feel less stressed out and more enjoyable to be around.
- Get Spiritual. The holidays are, for most people, the only time they might attend a religious service or function. This holiday season take the time to reflect on the "higher" aspects of life. Whether you say a daily prayer of gratitude or recite a mantra for positive thinking, make sure you feed your spiritual self, as you would your physical being. Also take the time to appreciate the magnificent beauty of Mother Nature around the holidays.
- Keep Fit. Make sure you maintain your exercise and diet routine throughout holiday festivities. The temptation to splurge is far too great with all the family gatherings and holiday parties. By working out moderately three to four times a week and monitoring portion size, you won't have to make a New Year's resolution to lose weight; plus youll be improving your emotional health. Incorporating meditation and yoga are also great ways to clear the "holiday buzz" from your mind.
- Sleeping Beauty. With all the running around you have to do around the holidays, the last thing you might have time for is a good night's sleep. But experts recommend that you get at least five or more hours of sleep in order to maintain your sanity. Plus, with all that sleep you'll be getting, feel rest assured, you'll wake up with enough energy to meet the challenges of your day.
- Let it Out! When you feel like you can't take another annoying relative, deal with a rude sales associate, stand in another mile-long checkout line or pull off a perfect Martha-Stewart-holiday-feast, just scream! By expressing your frustrations, as they occur, and not bottling everything up inside, you will prevent yourself from going crazy. The key is not losing yourself on someone by lashing out in anger or frustration. So the next time you feel the holiday pressure squeezing you in, take a moment to vent, either to a friend or by yourself with a good cry and a box of Kleenex.
So, no matter what you face this holiday season, if you take the time to be centered, you can be sure it'll be a season of peace and happiness.