It’s a time of the year meant for joy and celebration. But what do we really mean when we ask, “Are you ready for the holidays?”
When visiting family, frantic shopping and financial pressures extend our to-do lists during the holiday season, it seems that more people spend time bracing for impact, rather than kicking back and enjoying.
The anticipation of holidays is now requiring that we get ready, instead of approaching it as a time to let go, enjoy and be in the here and now.
Too much of our focus and attention during the holiday season is consumed by clutter, busyness and the next task on our to-do list. Constantly worrying about what’s next comes at the expense of enjoying the present.
The issue with busyness and things to do is that we forget life ought to be around “how to just be.”
With every little task we accomplish without mindfulness, we forfeit our joy. If you can, take advantage of the chance to decompress, reflect and recharge. This is an opportunity to step back from the daily rigor and make an effort to adjust the pace of a hectic routine.
To get the most out of the holiday season, here are some tips:
Imperfect is Perfect. Let go of the self-imposed burden of perfection – the perfect house, decorations, dinner and gifts. Rigidly adhering to these high standards is a recipe for stress, because there is always more to be accomplished if we are aiming at perfection.
Recalibrate. Calibrate expectations and redefine what makes a great holiday season. Maybe it’s disconnecting from technology, exercising more or relaxing and reconnecting with friends and family.
Less is enough. We have to indulge in simplicity and declutter our brains from things to do. Appreciate with mindfulness every moment and interaction, find meaning in what is happening around us and embrace the spirit of the season.
Zoom out. Look at the calendar and not at the clock. Look at the big picture of your day, not at the nitty-gritty of activities and the fragmentation of your day. Appreciate the big picture and approach it for what it is: a season. It’s not a short-term event; it’s a joyful time if we make it so.
All the best to you for finding true joy this holiday season.
A similar article also appeared in Smith Brain Trust.