As we find ourselves in the midst of another holiday season, I want to share a few thoughts about not only surviving the season, but actually enjoying it. The usual American mantra of “so much to do in so little time” is ratcheted up a few notches at this time of year. Most people I know, myself included, truly want to enjoy the simple beauties in life; good food and shared moments with loved ones. However, the whirlwind of everyday life topped with expectations of holiday decorating, decadent get-togethers, and the commercial mayhem called gift giving, wraps us up into one big bundle of stress.
The truth is, the frenzy can only envelop us if we allow it. Each year I strive to enjoy the holiday season a little more and shoulder less stress along the way. Knowing what is most important to me and making decisions based on these values makes the process a little easier. I know I’m on the right track if I’m not a heap of tears and exhaustion before Dec. 25th even arrives. (Really, I think this was my turning point a few years back; it wasn’t a pretty picture!)
My husband and I just returned from our 5th annual trip to Cabo San Lucas. We made the decision in 2007, to prioritize an annual vacation centered around rejuvenation and quality time together.
Do you ever fantasize about what your days would be like if you weren’t concerned with schedules, to-do lists and the necessity of earning income? That is what I wanted this week to be.
Each day I honored what felt right in the moment. I enjoyed fresh air and beautiful scenery as I engaged in yoga, walking hills, swimming in the pool, and reading for pleasure. I allowed myself time to sit in the sand, facing the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and process emotions of life. I recently lost my first loved one, with the passing of my paternal Grandpa at the end of October. It was a gift to have time and space to grieve, and be grateful for having 34 wonderful years with him.
I’m not suggesting we can all escape to paradise to get our priorities set before the holiday madness descends. In some ways, the timing of our annual trip adds to the challenge, as we return home and immediately dive into Thanksgiving.
What I am suggesting, is allowing yourself permission to enjoy the best of the holiday season. Know what is most important to you, and honor that with your choices. As the holiday season winds down, you’ll know you’ve created peace within yourself when you still recognize your smiling reflection in the mirror.
I’d love to hear about your holiday experience! What strategies have you incorporated to minimize the chaos and enjoy the beauty?
To Your Best Health,
P.S. The header photo of this blog is one of my favorite views at the resort we stay at in Cabo. The entrance drive is long and this photo shows the view when you finally crest the hill and the ocean spreads out before you. This generates a huge smile, inside and out, each time I see it.