I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in beautiful Carmel, California helping my good friend Lisa Broesh-Weeks run her “Happiness Retreat”. (www.practicalbliss.com). Lisa is all about bringing more bliss to the everyday, and who couldn’t use a little more bliss? Lisa emphasized slowing down and savoring which really equals being engaged in our lives. If we are operating out of habit or autopilot, that is where time gets lost. Slowing down, breathing in our surroundings and noticing what is taking place is really being in the present moment; not letting time wiz right by. How many times have you asked yourself what day of the week it is only to be surprised that the week has flown by and you can’t really remember what you did. That is autopilot.
As we approach the holidays here in the United States, I am struck by memories of years past where I heaped so much on my metaphoric plate that the holiday was nothing but a blur behind me. It was already over. I had shopped, cleaned, cooked, and stressed myself right through another Thanksgiving or Christmas. Listening to Lisa’s wisdom really got me thinking about this. I love the holiday season. I want to enjoy and be present with my family and friends. I don’t want to find myself on January 2nd with a “stress/disappointment/where did it all go” hangover.
While it isn’t always the case, but more often than not moms are the ones who make sure there is food in the house, get everyone where they need to be, and in general keep the humming along. Add on to that the increased demands around the holidays and it can lead to a less than joyous season. This year, I am using a combination of what I learned at the Happiness Retreat and some of my tried and true, tested tools to combat stress. For example I am going to say no when I need to (any other way is a recipe for irritation and resentment), I am going to put my self-care front and center so that I don’t end up depleted and burnt out, I will pay attention to when the inner critic pops her head up and tries to sabotage my experience, and as Lisa taught us, I will breathe in and pay attention to the moment rather than letting it go right by.
I am vowing to myself to turn down the din of holiday stress. I don’t want to get to 2017 and wonder where the last few weeks went. I want to ditch autopilot and intentionally enjoy the holidays. I’m inviting you to join me. To support you and me in our endeavors I have created holiday stress busting tips that I will email once per week for the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Use the link below to sign up for my free “Turn Down the Volume on Holiday Stress” campaign. And keep an eye out for some extra bonuses within the campaign.
Here is to a truly joyous holiday season.