by Christine Hunt
The Christmas holiday season can be a time that puts additional time pressures on all of us. In addition to our regular daily and weekly routines there is shopping to do, parties to attend and gifts to wrap adding more stress to our lives. We feel anxious, overwhelmed, financial pressure and exhausted.
All of this activity strains any semblance of peace we may have achieved and we find ourselves reacting rather than consciously acting. The season is touted as a time to have peace on earth, but our lives seem anything but peaceful.
Here are some tips to enhance your personal peace.
- Clear your mind. Does stressing about anything get the task done faster or easier? No. Actually, stressing over things reduces your capacity to think clearly and create viable solutions. When you catch yourself feeling anxious and worried, take a moment and clear your mind. Take a deep breath and let it out three times. This will help you to reset your thought patterns and relax your body. Then begin deliberate action on the next best step to take action on while staying in a calm state. The more that you can be conscious or “mindful” of when you get out of control, the more you can take these mini breaks and move forward in a calm, purposeful way.
- Make a list. Making a list helps you focus. Write it on a piece of paper, use a notes app on your phone or a program like One Note on your computer. Then prioritize what is the most essential thing to do first, second and so on. Each day choose your top 6 items to get done. You may even want to expand the list by putting down the steps required to complete the task. If you are giving gifts to distant friends and relatives, instead of just writing gift for Jane, write down, shop for gift, wrap gift and mail gift. That way you can cross off each mini task as it is completed and feel accomplishment at each step.
- Take a break. This can be difficult to squeeze in, but is worth every second of time you devote to just taking a time out. This also helps to break the stress cycle. Times to take a break are when you get a cup of coffee, or another beverage. Take five minutes. Actually sit down and enjoy it. Don’t look at your phone, or make a call, or update your calendar or send a text or email. Just sit and enjoy and detox your brain. Look around you and purposefully see your surroundings. Watch people, birds and observe the sky, trees, clouds and nature. Another time to take a break is at a meal time. Go out to lunch or if you bring it to work, do not eat at your desk but go to a break room or, on nice days, sit outside. Devote a certain amount of time to YOU to recharge and replenish. You can then begin the rest of your day refreshed.
The holidays can be much more enjoyable and manageable by incorporating these simple things into your day. The more you practice them, before you know it they will be second nature and you will wonder how you lived without them.
In this way you can do your part to have peace on earth by creating your own peace of mind.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Not sure what to get someone for Christmas? In keeping with the Peace on Earth theme, how about some Personal Peace?
Who do you know that has had a difficult year?
Did they lose a loved one and are still grieving?
Do they have a phobia that limits them?
Are they having a difficult separation or divorce?
Are they still struggling with their weight?
Wouldn’t you love to help them feel happy, give them some personal satisfaction and peace of mind?
Why not give them a gift certificate for a Hunt for Hope Wellness coaching session? There is a difference between Hunt for Hope and other therapies and treatments which is why it gets faster results that are long-lasting.