"Christmas time is here..."
Tis the season to be “Jolly”… depressed?, freaked out?, overworked?, stressed, bloated?....we could fill in just about everything…mixed emotions…. Dinner with family members (that we may not always get along with)… high caloric food we feel obliged to eat…. Parties to attend (can I squeeze into that little black dress one more time?), gifts to find?, buy?, wrap?.... the house to decorate… (does it look as good as the one on the cover of the magazine?)... oh no!!! what did I forget? …. Finances get stretched…dinner gets put on the back burner….regular activities go on hold….and the ‘monkey mind’ scrambles to find some assemblance of order?.... a reason for the season. Just stop! JUST BREATHE! Remember your priorities… is it family?, friends? Spending time with those that are important? It’s so hard to find our way through the holidays…. So many expectations, so many people to please. Maybe it’s time to just please ourselves. We need to remember to keep breathing and to keep our general schedule of activities (that includes regular healthy meal preparations, and exercise) even if we have to squeeze it in between shopping, Christmas programs and pageants, and cleaning the guest room for the ‘out of towners’. Make a list… prioritize…check off items as they are completed. Be realistic… start your list with 3 things you’ve already accomplished for your day.
I get up early in the morning for a short meditation time by myself. Then I make a list for the day (and that might include personal hygiene, and putting away clean clothes from the night before, or feeding the pets)… but I start with check marks next to a couple of items at the top of the list… so I feel accomplished before the day gets going too far and the list looks daunting. Sometimes I have to write down “have a green protein shake for lunch” and then a banana muffin for dessert; just so I don’t come home from the Y (starving) and dive into the muffins first….lol. There are many lists, self help books and advisers on the Internet, YouTube, and Face book that will give you guidance. Use them if you must…. But I suggest taking a couple of minutes at night or first thing in the morning to get you organized. Maybe a long-term (month at a glance) calendar to keep everything straight. Look for the ‘positive’ side of each issue (what’s the worst that could happen?)….think kind thoughts, slip in some compassion (donating to the food bank, the animal shelter or taking a meal to an elderly shut in this season) and check it off your list too. Being kind and considerate sometimes helps us feel calmer and happier and puts the whole season into perspective. Try as we might… we work toward these good ideals and goals…. But it doesn’t always work. If we fall on our face, I believe it’s important to get up and keep going. Start again and again… say the right thing, do the kind thing, eat the healthy and body nurturing food as often as we can…. But if we slip up, we just giggle at ourselves… and keep moving forward. Think happy thoughts… say nice things (to ourselves!) and enjoy the holiday season whatever you celebrate and wherever you might go! Merry Christmas!