During the week of Thanksgiving, I started to get the holiday jitters.
You know, the feelings you get when the Black Friday advertisements start and holiday decorations have taken over every store you enter... even the local gas stations? Suddenly, I started creating never-ending to-do lists, and became so overwhelmed it seemed like sugar plum fairies were dancing the jig in my head while I was trying to sleep.
These feelings are what send a signal to my heart saying that I need to connect to something spiritual, mindful and/or get centered.
Be it yoga, a walk, church, or a massage (throw in a mani-pedi, it is the holidays!), I allow myself moments of self-care, or self-compassion, in the chaos that can be the holidays. By doing one of these activities, at least once a week, I increase my resistance to the hectic lines of shoppers waiting to get the best deal.
Now, I am not saying it will be easy. For example, last week I went to a beautiful Meditation Center for a guided meditation session. During the meditation, my mind began to think about all of the things I could be doing instead: shopping for gifts for the dog, baking cookies for secret elf gifts, creating fabulous wrapping paper with paint and stamps made from potatoes, and on and on… I started to wiggle in my chair and wondered if anyone would notice if I crawled out of the totally silent room with stealth-like movements.
It was at this moment that I heard a voice in my head saying, “Just breathe and relax.”
There are so many times that we take even the smallest pauses in our lives for granted. Use these opportunities of standing in line, waiting in traffic or running errands to be a bit more mindful in your day.
Take breaths of gratitude for the family you have or acknowledge that you, indeed, ARE a rock star for accomplishing even some of the items on your to-do list.
Here are some other suggestions for how be mindful and compassionate towards yourself and others during the holidays:
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[This article does not create a client-counselor relationship. This article is general counseling information and is not to be considered legal or medical advice. Please consult with your mental health professional before you rely on this information.]