If the rush of the holiday season has hit and it’s crazy busy for you right now, I really feel you! While it’s normal for the holidays to be stressful, I propose a radical idea: What if your holiday season could be completely stress-free?
Imagine gliding through the season with ease, with a big smile on your face while feeling joyful and able to enjoy your time with friends and family. If this image feels like a million miles away from how you feel right now, take a moment to pause and imagine what a stress-free holiday look like to you?
Not a less stressful holiday, but a holiday completely free of stress. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
The biggest secret to beating stress isn’t meditating for hours at a time, drowning yourself in a bottle of red wine or telling everyone, “The Holidays are cancelled!”, it’s actually much more simple: You need to up your self-care.
If you’ve let your self-care slip up the past few weeks because life got so busy- stop right now and take a deep breath. It’s completely normal to forget to practice self-care, so notice your inner critic beating you up and then give yourself some love. Then breathe in for 4 counts and receive gratitude, then deep breath out for 4 counts, letting go of anything you cannot control (like your relative’s behavior, the shops being crazy busy or flights being delayed).
Repeat this 5 times and feel the difference.
You just did the first thing that so many forget which is to slow down during the holidays: to breathe! Slow, deep breathing is the quickest way to soothe your parasympathetic nervous system and calm your frayed nerves.
How amazing is that? You have the power to relax yourself any time you need to, and it’s not dependent on running away to a desert island, your relatives suddenly becoming easy to get on with or your kids behaving!
Try this the next time your relatives work you into a frenzy; closing your eyes for at least a minute and just breathing. That way, you can stop, drop into what you need and then love them up later with a calmer state of being.
Deep breathing isn’t the only way to practice self-care this holiday season.
In the artist community I’m part of, we practice something called Red Thread Cafe time. This means that no matter how busy our schedules are, we make some time to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and we read sacred texts like the Bible, or whatever book you find sacred. If you’re feeling romantic, I suggest reading some exquisite poetry by Rumi poems. Then we simply write, paint, draw or a little of everything.
You can do this your way; what matters is taking the time to pause, connect to spirit (in whatever way that resonates with you) and nurturing your creativity.
When I first I began this practice, it felt really strange deliberately taking this time out- I’m a busy woman! There’s too much to do today! Whereas now, I can’t imagine starting a day without it. Whether I’ve got only 10 minutes or a luxurious 2 hours, there’s something about being creative and dropping into the sacred that has become an integral part of my day.
Can you give yourself 10 minutes every day?
Finally, as a sex and relationship coach, I can’t leave out intimacy!
The holiday season does not mean taking time out from intimacy with your beloved (or with yourself if you’re single, because this is just as important too). You have to consciously create sexy time and make it your priority.
Just like the Red Thread Cafe time that I mentioned before, do what you need to do to create that time with your beloved. You can put it in your phone as a reminder if you need to, and I promise it will be worth it. If you’re out of ideas of fun ways to connect with your partner, then check out my post on how to have your sexiest holiday season ever, with 10 sexy tips to keep the passion alive.
You’ll be glad that you made time to be with your partner, even if it means locking your door so the kiddos don’t barge in on Christmas morning!
The bottom line for having a stress-free holiday season is this: remember to slow down, drop into gratitude and just breathe. If you can do this, you’re one step closer to a harmonious and joyful holiday season.
Many blessings to you all and happy holidays!