Can you believe it? The fall holidays barrel out of nowhere and just about run us down, don’t they?
We still have Halloween candy in the cupboard and some leftover ghost decorations continue to float around the house.
And lookout — all of a sudden it’s Thanksgiving, and then before we know it — Christmas!
So how can you make the holiday season enjoyable and not a whirlwind of panic?
Try my simple yet powerful 5 steps to Embracing the Holiday Season:
1) Set Your Intention
Take the time to determine what you want — not what you should be doing.
Imagine what you want this time of year to be like.
How do you want to feel?
How do you want things to look?
What do you want to experience?
Do you want to have quality time with family?
Are you looking for a change in traditions?
Do you want to continue your momentum at work but have time to enjoy the holiday festivities?
Get a vivid image in your mind of your intention for this year’s season.
2) Map It Out
Once you have set your intentions, map out your season. Prepare ahead of time what you want to do to make the holidays enjoyable week-by-week.
Make a list of all that needs to be done.
Look at your work and home calendars to get a realistic idea of what is on your agenda.
This is a good time to take deep breaths and have a nice warm mug of tea or else you may begin feeling a bit anxious! If so, definitely go to the next step.
3) Let it go
Yep! You heard it. Let go of anything that does not connect with your intention. Let go of any of the “shoulds.”
Yes, you do not have to volunteer for every holiday activity at your child’s school.
Yes, you can buy a side dish to bring to Aunt Bettie’s instead of whipping something up in a fit of hysteria.
Yes, you can politely regret an invitation to your co-workers’ holiday party choosing to spend the time with your family to decorate the tree.
Ah…I’m feeling better already.
4) Do today what you could put off until tomorrow
When you embrace your intentions for the holidays and look at your map do what needs to be done early.
Knowing that you are setting yourself up for success as Hanukah and Christmas approaches, do it now.
Schedule it in.
Get it done early.
I learned this 8 years ago when my first child, Kyla, was due just after Christmas. That year I got all of my shopping done before Thanksgiving just in case she decided to arrive early (which she didn’t). I had the most enjoyable holiday season living at my own pace because I set my intention, made my map and got it done early. Even though every year since I haven’t completed my shopping by Thanksgiving doing things early has still been a motivator. Aim to get most of the busy work done early this year so that the weeks approaching the holidays are much more enjoyable.
5) Write in a Gratitude Journal each night
In all of the chaos of the holidays we often forget that we are actually choosing to participate in the season. Each night during the holidays, write down at least 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for that day. This helps you not only recognize the good that is in your day, but also helps you take the time to embrace the choices you are making and the gifts that often go unnoticed.
Just this simple act will help raise your happiness and contentment.
Hope you have a happy and joyous (and peaceful) Holiday Season!