On staying sane during the holidays:
Whether you own a business with retail or you are planning a holiday dinner or even if you do nothing for the holidays, there seems to collective craze that happens this time of year. My husband and I were even noticing it in the traffic on the streets–more people are feeling the crunch of time right now.
One way that I like to explain all this chaos is to look at what’s happening cosmically–this is our darkest season (in the Northern Hemisphere). We are invited by the season of Autumn to really dig deep into our being. The sun’s rays hit the planet Earth at an extreme angel, making the time of daylight short and the time of the sun’s light more intense.
I say this to remind you that you are not alone with your feelings this holiday season. Here are some practices I use to keep me going as my business gets busier but my inner being tells me to hibernate. Staying in balance is key, and it’s always good to keep your creative tool-box of self-help fresh with new ideas.
Get outdoors, breathe fresh air, and get moving: This is something that I am not the first to tell you–getting exercise improves almost every bit of your life. Yet for me, I find doing this outdoors this season is super challenging. I plan to wear layers, pick the warmest time of day, and get moving on a brisk walk. You won’t break from the cold, though make sure to stay bundled.
Eat well: When your diet is out of balance, your whole world is out of balance. I’ve been a vegetarian my adult life, and I am always looking for new ways to eat even better than before. Eat well, and if you indulge one day, try to not the next. Be kind to yourself when you are in the holiday spirit.
Turn off electronics for an hour (or more) during your day: This is my stand-by for living through any tough time with ease. Take time during your waking hours to stop paying attention to the constant needs of being plugged in.
Give gifts that inspire well being and support local business: I think that the gift giving season would be radical if people gifted one another gifts that inspire well being and help out your neighbor as she tries to get her granola company off the ground.
Arrange your thoughts: Lists, lists, lists!!! This is where I really advocate making a bunch of lists on paper. Ask yourself what your priority is for the day, the week, the month. Then write it out, sticking to really only 3 main tasks a day. Don’t get tangled in the web of your mind, allow for your sweet mind to do it’s best work while the lists hold all the other stuff together.
Do service for others: I have recently been volunteering my time with my Parish, the Basilica of St. Lawrence, one of the oldest pieces of architecture in downtown Asheville. Specially, I give tours of the of the church. Doing this feels really great, most of all because I’m facilitating learning and an experience of beauty in others, and I do it from my heart. I know your schedule may be busy, but do something of service to another person or group this holiday season. It will make your heart soar with love.
Be free to be kind to yourself: Take a nap. Read a novel. Do things that evoke your sense of self care. Taking care of your needs this season will insure that you stay open to the real magic of the season.
May you stay free and at ease this season and beyond! Embrace all the powerful mystery that happens this time of year.