For many of us the holidays hold such wonderful memories, such great expectations and a lot of responsibilities. We have meals to prepare, cookies to bake, cards to write, envelops to address, presents to buy or make, gifts to wrap, decorations to put up, parties to go to … much of which is joyful and some of which is stressful. Even this time of year, when we are filled with such warm, generous and hopeful feelings, we can feel bogged down by things that need to be done.
We often feel a sense of responsibility to make the holidays special and memorable for our families. And while holidays are such a lovely time for families to get together, “getting together” can in and of itself be stressful. The five to six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be a blur, a time filled up with errands, shopping, many things to do, and many places to go. It is helpful to have a gentle reminder to take a few moments, stop rushing around, and enjoy the moment.
This holiday season, starting this Thanksgiving, make a promise to yourself to remember the importance of being present with yourself and with your family. Find time to enjoy the small and big moments that make up your life. Make a promise to take a few moments (or maybe many moments) this holiday season and do something for yourself – something that lifts you up, that makes you feel inspired, that makes you feel taken care of and supported, that makes you feel connected to your family or community, or that makes you feel happy!
Here are a few suggestions. (Please feel free to share any promises you have made or plan to make. I’d love to include them in future posts.)
- Make a commitment to enjoy and drink in your time with your family. Find time to be in the present moment, not just rushing from place to place.
- Find time to “Be,” not just “Do”
- Make a commitment to eat holiday foods mindfully or to avoid/stay away from holiday treats
- Play music as much as possible while you are preparing, decorating and cooking
- Take a few moments to feel gratitude and appreciation for all you are blessed with in your life
- Take a bath, take a walk, take a moment to yourself to regroup and breathe
- Spend some time with a good friend who makes you laugh
- Participate in a random act of kindness or pay it forward
- Find time to take a run, go to yoga class, or meditate
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or a homeless shelter, or make a donation (either monetary or donated time) to a charity that is important to you
- Understand and trust that wonderful saying, “Your presence is present enough.” Replace gift giving with the gift of your presence, your time and your undivided attention
There are many ways to make this holiday meaningful and memorable for you. There are many ways to stay present and enjoy this time of year. Promise yourself that you will!
The Mommy Tune-up is a blog solely devoted to the busy mom’s pursuit of sanity and good health.