I live and work in Eldorado at Santa Fe and have begun to notice some changes during my drives into the city since about a week or two before Thanksgiving. Even though traffic is not half as heavy here as it was in some other places I've lived in (for example, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, upstate New York), I've begun to notice that it is heavier than normal. It also seems as if people aren't driving as carefully as they typically do. And the stores and sidewalks are a lot more crowded as well. This shouldn't be surprising. After all, the few weeks prior to Thanksgiving does usher in the holdiay season. Yet, each year I am surprised by it, and each year I find myself responding to it by feeling frustrated and crusty. Do you find yourself reacting in some of the same ways? If not, I tip my hat to you. You've figured out how to successfully move through the increased hectic pace of the season without getting unnerved. However, if you find yourself reacting like I do, it is time to step back and consciously choose to have a different experience. I find that every year I have to remind myself to take a few deep breaths and then give myself persmission to step out of the accelerated pace. So, what are some tried and true strategies for accomplishing this task. Here are some of my favorites:
- Regardless of which holidays celebrations are most important to you (Hannukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, or Kwanzaa), take some time to reflect on the meaning the holiday holds for you and your family, as well as the traditional or unique ways you hope to celebrate.
- Take time to nurture your own wellness. For those of you who are introverts, make sure to schedule in some alone time to replenish your energies. For those of you who are extroverts, see if you can meet with family or friends for a meal, coffee/tea, a walk, and/or some genuine connection and laughter.
- Take in a few deep breaths and remind yourself of the meaning-filled reasons you are taking part in the activities of your day.
- Remind yourself of all the things you are grateful for in your day and in your life.
For more recommendations for minimizing stress during the holidays, go to the sites: