This time of year is often described as stressful. Ask a friend or neighbor how she’s doing during the month of December, and her response is likely to include the word “busy.” But the holidays are only as stressful and busy as we make them. Today, in case you feel you need it, I’d like to give you permission to relax.
It doesn’t matter if the tree looks less than perfect, or if, like me, you haven’t put up a tree at all. It doesn’t matter if the children receive one less gift, or the wrapping paper looks a little wonky, or the house isn’t spotlessly clean for your guests. You don’t have to accept every invitation or check every box on the Christmas to-do list. You certainly don’t have to go into debt to live up to others’ expectations. (And for goodness’ sake, if you find yourself judging someone else for these things, take a step back and think about what’s really important in life, and then strive to be a nicer, more empathetic person.)
Here’s what DOES matter: Spending time with those you love. Enjoying the peace of a day off. Making memories. Giving gifts from a place of true generosity rather than obligation. Sharing a meal with your family and friends, even if it isn’t homemade. Being grateful for the good things in your life. Appreciating the beauty of the season. Connecting with your spirituality, whatever that means for you.
This weekend, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, I hope you’ll close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and then exercise the power of no. Do less so you can enjoy more. Worry less so you can be present.
Download the 10% Happier app or click here for a guided meditation to help you deal with holiday stress.
Wishing you all a peaceful, joyous, love-filled Christmas.
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