By: Mary Pat Baldauf
The decorations have been in the stores for weeks – in some cases, even months- but now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday season is here!
This season already seems different for me, probably because we are closing in on the first year without Dad. It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate and enjoy the season, but my priorities have shifted. Spending time with family and friends seems so much more important than decorating the house or searching for the elusive “perfect gift.”
That being said, the holidays bring their own set of stresses, no matter how you celebrate. When I saw a teaser for Six Steps to a More Stressless Holiday Season in my 5 a.m. Twitter feed, I clicked the link, and I’m glad I did. These tips will help anyone manage the holidays better, but two of them resonated with the way I’m feeling this year: “Keep Your Side of the Street Clean” and “NO is Not a Four-Letter Word.”
Number 3: “Keep Your Side of the Street Clean,” is all about owning your behavior and reaction, not letting someone else hijack your happiness. That’s a good rule all year long, but especially during the holiday season.
Number 4: “No is Not a Four-Letter Word,” reminds us that we have the right to say no to anything that will take the joy out of the season for us. As women, we have a tendency to worry more about others than ourselves, but I’m learning that it’s not necessarily bad to be selfish. The cookies for your work party don’t have to be homemade. Everyone appreciates gift cards. And no one will notice if you wear the same festive sweater to more than one party.
If all else fails, try one of these great “on the spot” time-tested meditation techniques from David Magone, founder of PranaVayu Yoga. Whether you’re stuck in maddening traffic, behind a full cart in the express check out lane or have just run out of holiday cheer, these will help you de-stress and reconnect.
Happy Holidays, Y’all!