Yes, yes, we all know that the true meaning of the holidays - of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa - is peace and togetherness and believing that the world can be a better place. For children, it's a wonderful time of magic and miracles.
Once we're adults though, the holidays can feel like one big to-do list. And an extra ten pounds to lose in January. And weird baggage from our own childhood creeping in. And the national and world news not being peaceful at all. And so much pressure to buy and consume more stuff.
So what to do?
Here are six quick ideas to increase your peace during this rush-rush time.
1. Stop. Breathe and get back into your body. Inhale and exhale slowly for 10 breaths, saying to yourself, "I'm at peace.", or "All is well." or "Peace on Earth". Notice how you will naturally reach a peaceful place inside yourself. It's physiological, and it really does help. You can access this peace at any time - even ina mile-long line for Santa.
2. Go outside. The stars are always clearer when it's cold. Go outside, even for a moment. Or plan some outdoor activities. If you're dressed properly, you can handle almost any temperature, and if you're lucky to live somewhere tropical like me, there will be plenty of sunny December days with flowers blooming!
3. Get your holiday finances back in order. Here's a blog post I wrote last year about holiday money traps and how to avoid them - enjoy and remember that it's actually not about the stuff. Click here to read.
4. Get spiritual. What connects you best to spirit during the holidays? Worship services? Holiday music? Quiet contemplative time alone? Prayer? Candles? Gratitude journaling? Meditation? Allow yourself spiritual time in whatever way is most meaningful to you.
5. Give. It always feels AMAZING to give - to volunteer your time, donate to a food bank, or choose gifts for a needy child.
I believe we can ditch the commercialism, the over-doing it, the exhaustion of too much, and instead enjoy the spirit of peace and connection that we crave. I hope you'll join me in celebrating and savoring a wonderfully wild and precious holiday season!
Happy, happy holidays!