December, it has arrived again.  How did that happen? Time went by so quickly.  There are many more things to fit in – activities, events, and preparations.  Where to start?

December and the holidays therein can be a wonderful time for some and a difficult time for others.  How do we make the most of the season without stressing ourselves out? Here are a five tips:

    1. Get clear on what is important to you.  Act on that. If you act on what you think you ‘should’ do, you will be setting expectations that not only do not align with your values but also drain your energy and suck your soul.  Do only what feels right according to what is important to you and communicate about what this is to others.
    2. Reduce your expectations – “less is more”:
      • Shopping:
        1. Some people opt for a family Christmas draw to honour tradition yet cut down on the shopping and stress of finding and purchasing multiple, ‘perfect’ gifts.  Others have an agreement to limit the spending to a certain amount per person. This can take some of the pressure off.
        2. How about a card exchange rather than a gift exchange with friends?  A couple of years ago, some friends and I agreed to this new way of celebrating.  Now we have a nice visit with fun and good cheer without the material gifts.
      • Food:  Many people are choosing to focus on nourishing their bodies.  One idea is to choose to make foods that are satisfying and health-filled with just a few sprinklings of treats.  What we put into our bodies impacts our moods. When we take care of ourselves with healthy nutrition, we will have more of the energy we desire.
    3. Put self-care at the top of your list.  For instance, keep up your fitness. This is one of the first things that seems to drop off the calendar when we are busy yet it is one of the most important ways that we create healthy energy for ourselves.  If you cannot get to the gym, plan physical activities with family and friends – bundle up and go for a walk, head to the wave pool, go skating … there are many group-friendly activities that can be part of your fun together.
    4. Plan for events and activities that fulfill you and make you feel great … and decline the rest!  Perhaps it is taking unrushed time to decorate a Christmas tree or hearth, a drive around to look at Christmas lights, a hike or drive to your favourite place on New Year’s, or whatever it is that feeds your spirit.
    5. Cut yourself some slack.  Some things may need to be re-prioritized at this time.  You will have time to do these types of things later when the season is over.  What could be left for later?

What will fill your soul to create Christmas Spirit for you and your loved ones?

Yours in lightness,