Crowded malls, screaming kids and frustrated shoppers are enough to make you want to lock yourself inside this month so you don’t go insane. Then add in the pressures on finances and trying to give your family the best celebration ever. Obviously, the holiday season can be stressful.
It’s important to take a moment, inhale and remember what the spirit of the season is truly about. Whatever your beliefs, they shouldn’t be dependent upon sales and materialism. Here are three practices that can help make this season the most wonderful time of the year for you and your loved ones.
One of the major causes of stress, anxiety and exhaustion during this time of the year for most business owners and entrepreneurs is a lack of focus on simplicity. We think that if we simplify things that we are not working hard or doing everything that we need to do to advance our careers. Trust me, I know that feeling all too well and still battle with it almost every day. We all have hectic schedules, some more than others, but the fact is that letting your work get the best of you during this time of the year is a potential disaster.
Look at your current obligations leading up to the holidays. Are there any appointments, projects or deadlines that you can move around or possibly finish early? What about delegating some tasks and projects on your list? After you review your current obligations, the next step is to set a date where you will officially begin the simplifying process and really start to savor the moment and enjoy this time of the year.
The holidays are a time when everyone seems to overdo it. We all want to. For those of you fortunate enough to have family and friends to celebrate with, you are blessed. For those in good health, you are blessed beyond measure. Remember these things. Value these things.
2. Being present
Togetherness -- I can’t stress it enough. Your relationships matter more than any physical thing you could give or receive this holiday season.
Here's an example from my life where I wholeheartedly regret my actions and how I handled some of the precious moments that I had with loved ones. I had a very busy and exciting January and during December, especially towards the end of the month, my mind was completely focused on what was to come. I neglected something I prize most: my relationships.
If a family member or friend was talking to me, I was answering and responding to emails. While my family gathered around the kitchen table to enjoy a lovely Christmas meal and engage in meaningful conversation, I was disengaged. It didn’t dawn on me until the end of January when I finally had time to breathe and take some time off that I felt the holidays passed me by.
Don’t make the same mistake.
3. Giving back
Toy, clothing and food drives can be found everywhere this time of year. Think about the course of your life and your blessings. Think of where you began and where you are now. Find a holiday drive or make a donation to a cause that fits what you stand for. You will feel more connected to it.
If you don’t have the funds to make a big donation, pay it forward. While you are getting coffee, anonymously buy someone else’s. It’s these small gestures that will ignite the same spirit in others and perhaps inspire them to go out and do good as well.
These are the magical moments that give the holidays meaning not only for you, but for those who most need it this time of year. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family and friends around this time of the year. A simple text, phone call or card can truly mean the world to someone who needs it this time of the year.