"If you would create
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Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe

How to Enjoy the Holidays and be Present in Your Own Life
(Monday, December 23rd, 2013)

How to Enjoy the Holidays and be Present in Your Own Life


Ahhhh the holidays -It is the time of year that your to do list grows even longer.  On top of what you already have to do, now you must shop for presents, bake cookies, trim the tree, plan a holiday party, tip the babysitter, make a ginger bread house, write out holiday cards, light your home, wrap gifts, get the guest room ready for your mother-in-law and a host of other things. While many of these traditions bring us joy, so often they just add more stress to our lives.  When we are stressed and rushing we aren’t present in our own lives; we wonder where the years went and when it was that the children grew up, it seems as if only yesterday they were babies. We were so busy “doing” that we missed out on “being.”

Here are some of my favorite tips for staying calm and enjoying the season.

  1. Create a Morning Ritual:

    Instead of jumping out of bed at the sound of your alarm and racing around all day long, create a ritual for yourself upon waking. This could be a number of things including: meditation, journaling, prayer or exercise.  The purpose of a morning ritual is to set your course for the day and set an intention as to how you want your day to go. Your life will follow your attention.  By taking a few moments in the morning you will open yourself up to more love, more happiness, more success and more peace of mind.

  1. Greet Yourself with a Smile in Morning:

    Every morning when I wake up and take that first look in the mirror, I force myself to smile and say something nice to myself. When I crack that first smile in the morning it may be forced, but it spurs on a real smile at the silliness of what I am doing and sets the tone for the rest of my day.  It reminds me to not take myself so seriously and to get from the day, and not to just get through the day.

  1. Greet the Day with a Smile:

    Consciously greet the day, welcome it, and tell yourself that this is a brand new day and that anything is possible.  This day will never come again and you are planning to MAKE this day a great day.  This is a decision that will set your course for the hours that follow.  Tell yourself that no matter what life throws at you today, you will keep your heart open and MAKE the best of every situation.

  1. Choose Your Daily Mantra:

    For many years now my mantra has been, “My service is happiness.” The goal of this sentence is to set my intention for the day so that anyone who enters my space leaves feeling a bit better and happier.  What is your daily mantra? During this busy time of year, I like to tell myself over and over that I am peaceful, steady and calm.  By telling myself this it forces me to slow down and align my actions with my words. Choose a daily mantra for yourself that make you feel good.

  1. Breathe & Tune Into Your Senses:

    It always sounds so funny when people say, “Remember to breathe.” Aren’t we always breathing?  Yes we are, but often it is shallow, forced and uncomfortable. Make it a point a few times a day to stop what you are doing and breathe. Take three deep slow breaths and walk through all of your senses and find your center. Bringing your attention to your breath forces you to come back to the present moment and not stay focused on the never-ending list of things to do in your head. The present is a gift and when you are tuned into the present moment, the benefits are endless.

  1. Exercise:

    The one thing I can’t stress enough is to keep up your exercise routine during the holidays.  So many people get busy and working out is what they let fall off their list.  This is a big mistake. Getting your exercise in will help center you, calm you and help you put everything back in perspective. Don’t skip it.

  1. Give Acceptance & Love:

    There may be traffic, no parking spots and over-crowded stores. Decide that you will accept what is and welcome every experience into your life.  Look for mini miracles, people smiling, choirs singing and the magic of the season.  Don’t become a grouch because someone else is grouchy. Choose love and acceptance and be the person who freely gives smiles and good cheer.

The calmer and more centered you are, the more you will remember and be present for the loving and special moments that the holiday season brings you. It won’t be one big blur. Schedule time for you in your calendar and when people ask you in the New Year how your holidays were, you will find the corners of your mouth turning up with a smile so big at the memories you created.

Love & Light,

To learn more about how to adopt happy habits for yourself, check out Michele’s book, “Happiness is a Habit: Simple Daily Rituals That Increase Energy, Improve Well-Being and Add Joy to Every Day.”