"I can't wait till the agony is over January 2nd!" "Oh, this is my favorite time of the year!"
While most of us fall somewhere in between these two sentiments, we are now entering into arguably the most hectic and expectation filled six weeks of the year.
One of the best ways to not only survive, but thrive, during this season is to be intentional with your life - decide how you will spend your precious time and money and with whom, and when and how you'll move your body and what you will fuel it with, among other important considerations.
Without an intention and a plan, your greatest resource - your attention - is at the whim of external circumstances.
Other people's agendas become your agenda, their parties are now your obligations, and their dramas can become your worst nightmare.
Before any of that has a chance to happen, take a few moments now to get in touch with what you truly wish for the next six weeks.
If you're intentional with your attention and make conscious choices from there, you will be creating the experience you want this holiday season versus reacting to outside forces.
Incorporating the following three holiday hacks will absolutely help you move from reactor to creator.
To begin,make some intentional decisions about how you want this season to go, starting with how you want to FEEL - physically, emotionally, energetically and spiritually.
Perhaps you'll decide to have the best holiday season ever, to remain relaxed and loving with family members despite their annoying patterns, and to just taste the high caloric and/or processed foods that will abound this season, rather than consume whole 1000 calorie servings.
Use my handy worksheet to write it all down, and be sure to include the specific things you'll do to accomplish these.
For example, if you intend to have the physical energy and stamina to make it through the upcoming marathon of parties, celebrations, and services, then you might add "30 minutes of brisk walking every morning," knowing that building up your physical reserves is known to increase your endurance and resilience.
If you have taken on the family tradition of spending countless hours making cookies/tamales/holiday dinner and it is not in your heart or budget to do so another year, figure out a way to eliminate or modify the expectation. Perhaps another relative who loves to cook or bake would welcome the opportunity to take it on.
Now that you have your intention(s) set, print out my 6 week Whole for the Holidays Calendar. Having this time period on one sheet of paper gives you an overarching view of the weeks ahead, especially once you add in your own known commitments, activities, and houseguests (including any planning and prep needed for each).
Once you've added your items, take the intentions from step 1 and schedule time for the people, spiritual activities, and other actions that best support you in accomplishing these (rest, exercise, rejuvenation, reflection/meditation).
Every day consciously take time for yourself by literally creating some breathing room.
Ideally begin each day by spending a few extra minutes in bed engaging in deep belly breathing while setting your intention for the day. While still in bed, follow this with gentle stretching to prepare your body for the day ahead as well as to tune in to what it needs.
Later in the day, it might mean to momentarily excuse yourself from chaotic festivities to step outside to breathe fresh air or gaze at the sky.
Taking several moments of stillness throughout the day to get in touch with yourself and refocus on your set intentions, will go a long way in making this your best holiday season yet!
I know these three simple solutions can help you create more of what you've always wanted for during this time; they have for me!
Please comment below about the holiday hacks you've used to get the most from this time of year.
And please share this post freely - the more of us who are grounded and centered and coming from love at this time, the better for all of us.
BONUS 4th Hack: Get yourself a B.E.S.T. treatment pronto! :)