Three Ways to Keep Your Serenity This Holiday Season

I can’t believe it’s the middle of November already.  I literally feel like we just did this a few weeks ago.  I know you know this, and I know everyone always says it, but time really does fly, and I think god might’ve even upgraded it to a faster version.  Time 2.0?  

Anyway, this post is not about time.  It’s actually about the holidays, but I hope it’ll be a little different spin on it than the typical holiday shopping guide.

The holiday season can be  really fun and meaningful, but really stressful at the same time.  Maybe you have a large number of people or your family coming over.  Or, you’re traveling for the occasion.  What are you going to take?  What presents are you going to buy?  How will you possibly do it all and actually stay sane?!

Here are the top three ways I’ve found that help me keep my serenity through the New Year.

Treat it like any other day

I know the holidays are special, and we’ll get to the part about honoring their meaning, It’s probably not a shocker to y’all that this one tops my list.  I was talking to some friends the other day and a few of them were having some typical holiday anxiety (traveling, excess family time, etc.).  It got me thinking about how my day looks different on holidays or special occasions.  I came to the conclusion that they really don’t look that much different.  In fact, there are a few things I make sure I do EVERYday (yes, even on weekends), that 1.) I look forward to and 2.) help me stay present.  Although I feel they’re important to me everyday, I feel they’re even more important when something “special” is on the calendar because it helps me stay in the present moment.  

 Meditation/Quiet time.  This is going to look different for everyone, but starting my day with some stillness is vital to my sanity.  I usually read a couple of daily passages from a spiritual book, make a gratitude list, and try to embrace the calmness of the day before I actually go out into the “real world”.

Set an Intention.  It’s kind of like a mini goal for my day.  Do you know where you’re trying to go when you get into your car?  Have you ever had a day where you got home from work and wondered what in the world actually happened?  Setting an intention or goal for our day helps us have something to work towards and sets out in a particular direction.  Maybe it’s as simple as “have a good day”.  One that I find myself using a lot is “let me stay positive and see what the world is trying to show me”.

Physical activity.  Let’s face it, the holidays are not skimping in the food area.  But, daily physical activity isn’t to curb the potential weight gain, although it won’t hurt.  Moving your body and sweating releases toxins that you might have more than usual of from all the rich eating, releases endorphins that make us feel good, and loosen up your joints from all the traveling and sitting you’re probably doing.

Remember the reason for the season

This is usually where the religious aspect of the holidays come in.  But, I told y’all this isn’t your typical holiday guide, so we aren’t going to talk about religion because everyone has their own deal with it, and that’s a personal belief that doesn’t need to be dissected.

What I try to remember here is that the holidays bring us together as human beings.  And, we are all humans just trying to do our best.  Everyone has their own internal struggles they’re dealing with.  If I can look past the outer layer, and look further in, I can find compassion, love, and kindness.  If I can remember that the people are the important part of the holiday, and not the presents, lights, and decorations, I keep my serenity much easier.

Be Kind

Being kind is important for me always, not that I am successful 100% of the time, but REALLY important during the holidays.  Not because I think I should be extra good so Santa visits, but because there’s lots of opportunity to, for a lack of a better term, lose my shit on people.  

It’s a busy time of year where people are trying to get a bunch of extra things done, all while keeping up with their day-to-day responsibilities.  The closer it gets to December 25, the more it seems like everyone is frantically running from place to place, doing last minute this, or buying last minute that.  When we get in a hurry, we forget to be kind (at least I do).  And if someone is unkind or rude to me, it’s really easy for me to want to do the same back.  This goes back to setting intentions for the day, and remembering the reason we’re all doing this.  If I can pause, take a minute to look a little further inside the person that cut me off in the parking lot, or jumped in front of me in the check-out line, I have a much better chance of staying happy.

I hope you all have a wonderfully serene holiday season.

Jessica Hauser