During the holidays it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the endless stream of to-do lists and forget to enjoy the people who make it all worthwhile in the first place. At least, I know that’s how it is for me. During the holidays (and throughout my life), I try to take on the mantra of “Take a deep breath. Be in THIS moment.” In fact, there’s a good chance if you spend very much time around me that you’ll find me repeating this out loud to myself in times of stress.
My to-do lists are always long and there just never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything, but I know it is important for me to slow down and enjoy this time with my girls. They won’t always be small and they won’t always love the magic of Christmas like they do now, this is the opportunity to LIVE these moments with them.
Here are a few things I do through the holidays to help me remember to embrace life and live in the moment.
5 Tips to Help You Enjoy the Holidays
1) Breathe. I know it sounds simple enough, but when I get really stressed, am concentrating hard on something, or am in a hurry, I often forget to breathe normally – which, of course, sends me directly into an anxiety attack, which slows me down, causing another anxiety attack. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s also one that I can prevent simply by remembering to stop and breathe deeply. You can really just feel the stress and anxiety wash away.
2) Take pictures. Since life is moving at such a fast pace, especially through the holidays, it is important to take lots of pictures. In a time when everything gets rushed and we’re hurrying to get to the next activity, it can seem like an extra hassle to gather up the kids and take a family photo, but ten years from now you won’t be sorry that you did. But you don’t have to stop there! Think outside the box and catch your loved ones in unexpected and unrehearsed poses, these will be the images that evoke cherished memories for a lifetime.
3) Count your blessings. One by one. Take time every evening to take stock of your many blessings to help keep the feelings of overwhelm at bay and to help you stay grateful and aware during the rush.
4) Make lists. And then live by them. Seriously. I couldn’t accomplish anything throughout the year, let alone through the holidays, if I didn’t put it on a list. Lists help you stay on task, set realistic goals, and plan activities that help keep your holidays running smoothly. Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of accomplishment when you get to check the next item off your list?
5) Give back. There’s nothing like giving back to your community to help you stay in the moment and remember the true reason for the holidays. While this may seem counterproductive to some, finding ways to give back to your community (whether your local community or a more global one) during the holidays will help you feel less stressed and more thankful for the blessings in your own life. It’s also a proven fact that giving back actually makes you feel good – so do something nice for someone else this holiday season! It’s the true win-win situation.
I know during the holidays it can be hard to slow down and enjoy life, but what is the point of it all if you don’t remember it let alone enjoy it? Sometimes I even send myself little reminders throughout the day to slow down, take a deep breath and live in the moment. It’s super simple to do with my Samsung SG3’s alarms – I just set them all up at once and then get a reminder when I need it most!