As much as we enjoy the heart-warming spirit of the Holidays, we may feel a special kind of stress with this time of year. Mindfulness practitioners understand that while stress can exist, we can reduce the impact that it might have on us by expanding our perspectives and practicing compassion for ourselves and others. Here are simple ways to invite compassion into your life so you can be more Joyful this time around!
Book those Pilates sessions to Center yourself, meditate, get rest and sleep, stay hydrated, and use aromatherapy. Intentionally plan out and make room for anything that helps you stay balanced, blissful, and grounded.
There’s nothing quicker to getting stressed to RSVP to your party than to consume a disproportionate amount of processed foods, refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Overconsumption of these leads to drastic mood swings and energy rollercoasters. Keep an even keel by nourishing yourself with a diet of mostly (I like the number 80%) simple, pure and healthy food and beverage that is right for your constitution.
Tune in to your body
Your body will tell you whether you are compassionate with yourself. If you are running errands and feel tense (toes crunched, jaw clenched, etc..…), pause and connect to your breath. Feeling frenzied doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing more; you might actually be less efficient. Shake it off. Breathe deeply. Listen to some inspiring music, find the flow, and execute your errands patiently.
Adapt and be flexible
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we envision. Sometimes the store runs out of an ingredient we need to make something in time. Make something else you are good at, and let your original idea go! Remember the things you can and cannot control; while you can’t always control what’s around you, you can control how you respond to the situation.
Stop using the word “should.”
You say you should stop by your friend’s gathering, but it is happening at the same time your sister is asking you to visit. If you feel like you are overbooked, then you most likely are. Only say “yes” to what is truly realistic for you. Create a Joyful schedule focusing on what’s important, communicate clearly and honestly with all involved, and trust that everything will work out and everyone will feel loved.
Shift from complaining to gratitude
This one’s my favorite. When we shift our focus from what we don’t have to being thankful for what we do have, our minds open up to creativity, courage, compassion, and love. When you catch yourself about to complain about something, shift and turn your attention to what Joyous is before you, life itself is a miracle, and there is an abundance to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude is a surefire way to find grace, peace, and good Cheer.
Kindness and compassion go hand in hand. Be kind to yourself, let things organize themselves around your best efforts, and witness the Joy and Bliss unfold.