Submitted by EPF Volunteer
Everything is all hustle and bustle this time of year.
If we were not good at being mindful, taking time for ourselves and doing some self-care before, there is no way it is happening between the months of November – January 1st. Everyone seems to move faster outside with the bite of the cold on our cheeks and we would all much rather be on the couch with a warm blanket, near a fireplace, sipping on tea or hot cocoa.
But we know there is no time for that.
There is tons of holiday shopping left to do – you’re worried at this point that you’ll probably be hitting the stores on Christmas Eve getting last minute things. Work is busier than ever – everyone seems to be trying to get everything done before the new year roles in. Let’s not even think too hard on the overwhelming fact that the entire family is coming over in a week. Bettie and Harold will surely be asking about your career path and your house is not even near being ready to host guests – and then THE FOOD. Oh so much baking and cooking to do. Have you even figured out what you’re cooking yet?!
Humph. Just another holiday season. It will be over soon.
Now. Stop. This is what I want to tell everyone during this time.
I recently went to a volunteer event and there the organization actually brought a professional – a counselor – in to talk to everyone at the event about how to ‘be stress free’ through the holidays. I was stunned. And a little sad about it – isn’t this time supposed to be about relaxing and slowing down, not bringing in reinforcements because we’re all so stressed?
I will not continue along and say that we don’t need to be told how to handle the added stress of holidays. I know that sometimes we need to be reminded how to self-care.
What I will say is that I wish we didn’t have to ‘bring in the professionals’. I will echo what was said at that event though. It is so important to be extra kind and gentle to ourselves during this time. To really dedicate to remembering the spirit of being present in this time of year. Of being around loved ones and taking time to care for ourselves.
Often, we get lost in focusing too much on the worries of the holidays, this prevents us from actually enjoying this time, and it can result in the opposite of self-care.
I want to urge you to be mindful of the simple joys of the pleasures that are present in this time of year. Weather that is in the simplicity of having loved ones over to your home and not worrying about what type of napkins are on the table, of appreciating the beauty of the falling snow instead of stressing over how you don’t want to drive in it later. Maybe it is taking the extra day off work to sit with loved ones and enjoying that comforting cup of tea or hot cocoa.
Because loving your body is much more than physical – it is also being good to your mind and being gentle with yourself when things are hectic. To slow down and rest.
I am urging you to be present in this season, let go of the things that don’t actually matter or that you can’t control and simply be mindful of the precious time that this is. After all – it only comes around once a year and it is a gift!