Monday, November 28, 2016

Keeping the Holidays Happy

Now that one holiday season is behind us, we have the next one to look forward to.  I know that for me, I need to try to work on being prepared mentally and physically for all that is part of the holiday season so that we all have a joyous time together.

First, and I believe one of the most important things to do is to, take time to reflect and remember the "little things" that happen as the meal is being prepared or the house is being decorated.  If I don't, it seems to go by in a blur.  I know that this is when my journaling comes into play.  Plus, it becomes a time that I know what it is that I want to realistically accomplish.  Each day leads up to the next in a more organized fashion, as far as taking it by steps.  This is how I must take it or else I become overwhelmed.  By hearing the talk from my friends, they feel it too, so I know that I am not alone. There is nothing more overwhelming than a table stacked high with gifts to wrap.  When I take it in stages, it becomes a more meaningful and fun task with holiday music playing and a little hot chocolate or a skinny vanilla latte.  

With reflection comes in meditation; at least for me it is a perfect fit, like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs. However much time you wish to devote to meditating is up to you, just closing your eyes for a moment to reconnect your mind, body and soul is all that it takes.  I think that you will be surprised at how this can affect your well-being. 

As you find yourself running around, sometimes like a chicken with its head cut off, be sure to take the time to do something that is just for yourself.  Stop off for a favorite tea or coffee or cocoa, meet a friend for a brunch or lunch out at a new restaurant, go to a yoga class or take a walk or run...just take care of yourself, mentally and physically.  If I am not careful with the goodies that go to my mouth, then there will be a need to go heavier on the physical aspect.  There are times that I must use warfare tactics such as drink a lot of water, move away from the buffet table, think about how miserable I will feel if I eat everything that I think that I want    -   now is the time to be picky.  Make the calories quality calories.  

Light!  By this, I mean it is important to not burden myself or others with insignificant events.  What happens will happen.  The marshmallows may burn on the sweet potatoes.  I have even had the marshmallows catch fire in the oven.  (I learned not to open the door to the oven...just let it burn).  It will all be okay. Tis' not the end of the world.  It is a laughable moment and has now become a story to tell each and every year because it did happen more than once. There is no family get together that is like the Hallmark Family.  Accept one another for all of our quirky imperfections. "Laugh loudly, laugh often and most important, laugh at yourself." Chelsea Handler

For some people shopping and what to get the ones they love becomes a stressful period.  Hearing the countdown of how many more days till Christmas can be daunting.  Instead of the usual gifts of jewelry or ties look at gift giving in a more creative manner, such as lottery tickets, a cooking class, a museum entrance fee, a garden of herbs or succulents for inside,  jelly/beer/cheese/ of the month club....the list goes on and on.  Pinterest has oodles of DIY gifts that are very desirable and low cost. There is always the "Wish List" that families can share with one another from Amazon.   

All of the jibberish above are simply ideas that I set in my mind to help prepare me for a happier way to move through the holiday season without feeling that everything must be perfect.  It is okay to not be okay.  Taking the negative out makes more room for the positive.  If I am not up to giving it my all then I won't pretend.  Let the loved ones around you know.  It is much more important to take care of my emotional well-being and a great gift to myself, as well as those around me to try not to act fearless.  It has taken a number of years for me to understand this concept and I feel like today, it has now become a part of me.  I hope something in this blog helped even just one person get a handle on overcoming the possibility of feeling unhappy through the holiday season.  In this case, I practice what I preach...why?  Because it works! 

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