I decided to start my Christmas shopping this week. I was in the mood to go to my favorite local bookstore (The Bookworm) and thought it would be a good opportunity to look for gifts. I decided to make this a whole experience by getting a Chai Tea at my favorite local coffee shop (Stories) to take with me while I browsed around the bookstore.
Now I am not one who likes shopping very much, so it always helps me if I have a peaceful mindset entering into stores. My experience at the bookstore was so pleasant that I got to thinking, what if I approach this holiday season with ease?
What if we approach this holiday season with ease?
What if the to-do lists, the hustle, the pressure, about worrying about image was traded this season for peace, long conversations, hot soup, and cozy nights by the fire?
I am at a phase in life (no kids) where it is easier for me to have autonomy over my schedule. I don’t have the obligations of winter school performances or parties. But, I have been one to quickly fill up my free time with dinner with friends, holiday activities, and an overall pressure that I have to do everything to enjoy the holiday season!
If I have learned anything so far, it is that pressure does not equal peace. Pressure can lead to racing thoughts, anxious feelings, stress, or even a feeling of sadness or depression when you are spending your time doing things that do not bring you joy.
There are many reasons to celebrate the holidays. Reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving, celebrate Jesus’ birth this Christmas, and usher in the anticipation of a New Year.
Before you make your to-do lists and say “yes” to all the events, I ask you to be mindful this holiday season. Before saying yes, ask if this will increase your peace or increase your stress. Pause five minutes to a few days before committing to every celebration or event.
Take time to celebrate all you have overcome this year, that you made it to another year (through a pandemic no less.)
Take peaceful and wise steps that increase your rest, your ease. I listened to a great audiobook last winter and plan to listen to it again, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May. I walked away from that book with some great tips on how to enjoy the winter.
I think many of us have heard about the tradition in many Scandinavian countries called Hygge. The overall idea of this practice is getting cozy, enjoying home, having long conversations with loved ones, and spending time savoring the simple things of life. Ease. Approach this holiday season with ease. Find softness in your life. Get cozy. Allow time in your schedule to rest, relax, and refresh your weary self.
I hope this blog post comforts you. Please hear my heart and know I understand that every person is coming from a unique background with special circumstances and an array of personal, family, and work obligations. Where you can, find your ease, find your comfort, and see how your brain feels when you give it a moment to rest.
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