It’s that season folks. You didn’t need me telling you this, did you? You were hit with it before Halloween booed, tricked, or treated. The tryptophan barely knocked some of you out before you were out the door for Black Friday. Others were probably eating pie while researching Cyber Monday Deals. Let’s not forget the planning for the next two months of celebrating whatever it is you celebrate. And if your birthday falls somewhere in the midst (like mine), yeah, you have to worry about that too.
Oh, and then there’s the presents.
Queue the unanimous sigh felt and heard around the world. Did you even start your list yet? What?! For shame, for shame. And I don’t want to hear that you promised yourself you would give gift cards or make gifts. The commercials and peer pressure will have you second guessing that store card. You’ll give in to the lure of the stocking stuffers that really only amount to crap you like. Not to mention—if you’re not big on crafting but the idea of crafting, do you know how time-consuming it can be? And expensive. And overwhelming, because, you don’t know what you’re doing!
Did Jack Frost just swoop down and snatch all your hope of making it through the holidays with sanity and money to spare? Oh now. I was just playing. OK, no I wasn’t. However, I come with gifts. The best part, they’re all for you. You might even consider re-gifting a few. Yes it’s perfectly fine to do this. These presents, often overlooked are absolutely FREE and necessary for making it through this festive season. Are you ready? QR code reader not needed. So put the damn phone down. Unless you’re viewing this on one, in which case, read on.
TIME: we always seem to run out of it. There will be moments when you have to react to a situation in the instant it occurs. Yet not every reaction needs a rush order. If a decision can wait, allow yourself time to reflect. Hasty actions now lead to annoying fixes later. Another way to use this gift is by giving it to others. Know someone who’s alone for the holidays? Are your children or friends complaining about your lack of presence? A few moments given to someone will not delay your holiday planning. What you give of yourself can have a greater impact than you realize.
LOVE: You may pour all your love into your cooking and baking. And if you’re really skilled or just adventurous enough, you douse the items you make with a serving of the warm and fuzzies. How are you treating yourself through all this? Do you stop to laugh or sing annoying (yet catchy) seasonal music? Do you give yourself license to process your emotions? Are you quick to make sure everyone else is happy before you know how you feel? It’s not selfish to sped time (there it goes again) on yourself. When you indulge in a little self-love (hey, it’s not that kind of post), you improve your chances of making it through the holidays and family portraits with a few extra smiles instead of frowns.
NATURE: If it’s too cold for a leisurely stroll where you live, head out for a quick trot to the store. While you’re at it, get some vibrant blooms. At least get some fresh air now and then, even if it is a bit frigid. Bright bits of nature like fresh flowers or a plant you haven’t watered to death, help to liven the winter blahs.
COMMUNICATION: Hmm, yes the big one. The abominable snow man of holiday entities. Lack of or poor communication can make the season scary with fright. Feel free to sing that last part to the tune of White Christmas, I did. This present needs a lotta help from Time and Love, and if you really screwed up, you may need a bouquet of Nature. Let’s just assume that none of us has the power of mind reading. For those that do, put your hands down. What many of us do have but ignore with abandon at the darndest times, is perception. Take yourself and all your hurt feelings out of the situation for a moment. How would you feel if someone did what you did? Would a casual brush off with a trite “I’m sorry” suffice? Or would you want the person to acknowledge things you’ve done right in addition to what you did (or was perceived) wrong? And if you’re busted up about something, choose the right time and place to discuss it. Pray for the words, it really does help. Or tell yourself that you will handle the situation in a way that is beneficial for everyone concerned. Listen without interrupting. Don’t play the blame-game. Ask them how they are feeling. Apologize sincerely. And don’t gloss over issues expecting people to get over them while you lick your wounds until your satisfied. It’s a nasty way to fight and no one really wins in a battle of my pain against yours. So peacefully hash it out so you can get back to the good stuff. Because you’re missing it by staying angry.
REST: You=a million things to check off your list. You=countless functions to attend and people to cater to. That’s alright. They’ll all be there in the morning after you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep. Nap during the day if you can. Ten to fifteen minutes after work won’t stop the world. Rest your feet, your eyes, your mind. Be still sometimes. Give yourself a moment to settle your thoughts so you don’t cross the wrong name off that all important list. Solicit help from those around you. Maybe they can’t do what you do the way you do it. Maybe, the world will continue to rotate if everything isn’t perfect. I dare you to test this theory.
CELEBRATE! After all the rushing, time-wasting, self-sacrificing, hibernation, fighting, and lack of sleep, you’re going to need to unwind.
SO GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE!