The days get busier. The to-do lists are longer. The indulgence and consumption of rich foods and libations become tripled. Bank accounts are dwindled. The holiday fog rolls in thick and lingers well into the New Year.
How does all of this affect us during one of the most wonderful times of the year?
One of the most asked questions in December each year is “Are you ready yet?” While the occasional bizarrely organized person (who we all secretly judge) may reply “since August” most replies are sprinkled with a dusting of panic and worry. “Not yet!”
The holiday fog washes over us. We rack our brains with strategic shopping tactics for the perfect gift for that one family member that has everything or for the kids that want it all, while playing Do-si-do with our savings and credit cards. Our bellies (and heads) are challenged by the over consumption. The stress settles into our neck, shoulders and backs. Our breath becomes shallower and quicker releasing a hormone called “cortisol” (also known as the stress hormone). We might sleep less and challenge our immune system during a year when you need a strong immunity!
So, what can we do?
This year has its own flavour of added pandemic stress, but there are still so many enjoyable times we can celebrate over holiday season. But how do we keep that our focus?
We let go of fear, obligation, and guilt! (Acronym for FOG)
What if we worry less that we will get it all done? We can make our own lists (and check it twice) of what is really important.
What if we honour ourselves a little more this year noticing how we feel in our bodies, our minds and our hearts? What if we honour the circumstances too, knowing that next holiday season will be different?
Can we let go of guilt for eating those amazing chocolate drizzled shortbread cookies and enjoy them (in moderation), while eating healthy organic vegetables and fruit still? What if ignoring that we are over-tired with a sore lower back was replaced with us taking a nap with a heating pad?
Stay present, in the now. What does this moment need from you?
The more we practice present moment awareness, the more we can enjoy life. When we take care of ourselves and listen to our needs of the now, we can balance the scale of chaos with a bubble bath and a hot cocoa (with or without a shot of Baileys).
So I invite you to ask yourself, what do you need to stay balanced until the holiday fog clears?
To whatever holiday you celebrate, let it be full of tidings of comfort and joy in each and every present moment you experience.
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast! If you would like to see an article on a specific topic, please email email@example.com)