Let's face it, you're down to the last push before the end of the year. A year that has already challenged and matured you. And for the next two months you may be spending a lot of time with friends and family. You may be at tables weighed down by meat, mashed potatoes and pies. You might even host a dinner or two. You will eat a lot. And you will shop. You'll spend money. Your boss or your significant other might expect your presence at a holiday party. You've got a tree to put up and decorate, or you've got plane tickets for a week's worth of travel.
That's a lot of doing.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love this time of year.
Staying grounded and protecting your energy can seem impossible at this time of year, but I promise it's a worthwhile skill to practice cultivating.
If you're looking for ways to stay perfect through the holidays, this ain't it. But what you will find here are several practical ways to stay present and sane through the holiday season:
1. Set Boundaries
I cannot stress how important this practice is. You might experience the pressure of being pulled in many directions, decisions, as well as the pressure to say yes to everything. If an activity feels like too much than it's worth, ask yourself whether or not it's really worth doing. Additionally, setting boundaries for your budget and your meals can help you remain present as you step toward the new year.
2. Set Aside Alone or Down Time
After any considerable amount of doing, your body needs moments to be. For all the doing that the holidays requires, create intentional space for yourself to just be. This also includes rest and indulging in your self care. Give yourself a gift.
3. Set a Meaning
Have you ever had a holiday when you ask yourself: "Why am I doing all this stuff? What does it even mean?" Sometimes it's so easy to go through the motions of expectations that we lose meaning. Decide what the holiday season means to you and honor it. Does the season mean family, thankfulness, caring? Or perhaps it reminds you of loss. Don't ignore the emotional significance of the season. Maybe you can give to a cause or charity, volunteer, or create a new ritual. Write a letter or light a candle to a loved one.
4. Set Up a Holiday Journal
This one is simple: whatever frustrations arise for you, write them out. You may find yourself more aware of your holiday triggers and be able to be more gentle with yourself.
5. Set Time for Creativity
Part of the holiday frustration for me is the amount of consumerism that we all get invited to partake in. I find it comforting as a reminder that though my children want gifts from the toy store, I'm still at my core a co-creator of the universe. Whatever your creative gifts are (baking, cooking, sewing, crocheting, knitting, drawing, writing, singing, acting, dancing, photography, etc), throw yourself into your creativity.
6. Set Goals for the New Year
Setting a goal for the new year helps to keep you present and grounded because you can be reminded that the holidays are temporary and you still have this big, great life to live. And you get to pause, reflect and ritualize your presence and your new beginnings into the new year.
One ritual that I along with my sisters have created is to go into the new year with a new word or affirmation that will motivate our focus. My word for 2017 has been "acceptance." Other words have been "dogged perseverance" and "yes." Go for it! What's one thing you desire for the new year? Create a word or an affirmation from that desire.
Another ritual we only started a year ago has been to write down on pieces of paper the things from the previous year that we will let go of and then we have a bonfire on New Year's Eve. We throw the pieces of paper in the fire. Our spouses get involved and so do our children.
If you're really looking for a way to ground yourself, or if you are new to the idea of what it means to be grounded, I would absolutely love to work with you! Or perhaps you are looking forward to the new year and you desire new goals and new intentions in which case, I would also love to be able to work with you!