Holiday time can be stressful, no doubt. Even if you came from a perfect family, have no bills, no quarrels and no problems (and P.S. you are an anomaly). Just the traffic, long lines, trying to find the time to deck the halls and act all jolly takes its toll on all of us. And let’s not forget all the food that we say we won’t eat, but then when we do, we beat ourselves up, which in my opinion, is worse than eating the damn fudge in the first place. Ahem.
Anyway, I thought if we start December off with the right mental attitude and positive outlook, the month might go more smoothly and the stress may be lessened. Here’s my list, just for you:
1. Clean something out. What?! Spring clean in December–am I crazy? Well, yes, but that’s not quite the point. Whether you like the idea of Feng Shui or not, the bottom line is that we all accumulate “junk.” Stuff we don’t need that clogs up our homes and blocks our energy and good fortune. Maybe it’s a drawer or a closet; your car or your body. Getting rid of some things as you clear the house for all that Christmas crap is a good way to simplify your life. Plus, it will make things look even nicer when in just a few weeks, you have to take all that Christmas crap back down. Give stuff to charity.
2. Shop online. I mean really, people–we rely on technology for almost everything, can’t breathe without checking Facebook every several minutes and break out into hives if we can’t get a connection. So, whythen do we invite more stress by rushing around on lunch breaks at over crowded malls to stand in long lines to buy a bunch of stuff we can barely carry to the car? Think gift certificates. You can buy them at any grocery store for places like Subway or Amazon and everything in between. Or, if you shop online, you can get great buys, lots of free shipping, and shop without your shoes on.
3. Enter the NO DRAMA ZONE. Seriously, no one can push our buttons like family–this I know. But we all have the option of refusing to take part in it. Drama is a disease that keeps us thinking about things that take us farther from our goals and intentions, not closer. How we focus our minds has everything to do with our stress and our happiness. Here’s a new flash: people are addicted to drama. It’s not intentional, and most people don’t even realize they’re doing it, but you can spot if from a whisper away. She said what to who and then did that. Oh no! Don’t do drama and you’ll feel five years younger. If you insist on having drama in your life, raise a teenage daughter.
4. Do something for someone else. Yes, I know–it sounds counter intuitive to tell you that you’ll lighten your holiday stress load by serving someone else, but it’s true. The minute we can step outside of our self-obsessed selves and lend a helping hand is the moment we remember what the holidays are truly all about. People are cold, hungry and down on their luck. December is the month that has the most suicides. Give a homeless person a few bucks…who cares if he buys drugs with it? It’s Christmas, let him be. Serve at a shelter, drop gifts off at a children’s home (call me, I know a few), or go visit old people in an assisted living facility (call me, I know a few). Doing something for someone else will actually reduce your stress.
5. Get over it. Really. The biggest challenge I have as a coach/writer is people who can’t let go of the past. Interestingly, most people who are in victim-mode, don’t recognize it. It all starts with letting go and forgiving. Yes, I know, people don’t always behave right; sometimes people are downright mean and horrible. The point is, it’s never about us. It’s always about them, their drama, their pain. We must remember that in spite of how it feels and seems, we are each responsible for the way we respond to anything that happens to us. Holding grudges and resentments hurts no one but yourself. It’s like taking poison and waiting for that scoundral to die. It doesn’t work that way. We free ourselves and heal ourselves when we forgive anything and everything that has ever caused us harm. Get over it.
Since you were so good and read this far down, Mommy has a special treat for you. Listen, doing all of the above will absolutely lighten your holiday stress load, but I’m here to tell you, the only lasting way to get permanent and on-going results is to change your brain. Re-wire that sucker so it hums like a harmonica. Spending time in silence each day is the best medicine I know of, and when you add positive intentions,images and sounds you up the improvement. Besides, it has the added benefit of helping you create your intentions, because let’s face it, that’s what I’m all about. Inner peace and manifested intentions sound pretty good to me, right? Okay, so here is your free gift. I’ve made it free the past few weeks, so I hope you’ll download it now before I put a price tag on it. Also, if you want to come meditate with me OR attend an innerchild healing workshop, I’m holding two events in December at Arden Hot Yoga so I hope to see you there!
Have a happy week, and no stress for you, little buckaroo!