Thanksgiving has come and gone -- let the holiday madness begin! If you're one of those people who are filled with dread right about now, you're not alone. December is supposed to the happiest time of year, but for millions the opposite is true. The holidays are fraught with shopping anxiety, entertaining angst, and endless sources of stress. And no wonder! Any holiday that involves the Four F's -- family, food, feelings, and finances -- is bound to make us wish we could just pull the bedcovers over our heads and hibernate until January. "Please wake me when it's over," we plead in vain.
Every year I think, There must be a better way of doing the holidays. So this year I set out to find a way ... or several ways.
While Santa's been busy making a list of who's naughty and nice, I've been busy making my own list - 26 Ways to Stay Sane and Serene Through the Holidays. In sharing my list with you, I'm sending you warm wishes for a peaceful, loving, quietly happy holiday season. You needn't do everything on the list - just pick what you like and leave the rest.
HOW TO STAY SANE AND SERENE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS ...
AWAKEN each day with gratitude.
BELIEVE that your holidays can be peaceful this year.
COUNT your blessings.
DECORATE your home and workspace with warm colors and soothing candles or lights.
EMBRACE your spiritual beliefs and practices.
FORGIVE those you've been resenting.
GIVE your time, attention, and money to those who need your help.
HUG your loved ones ... friends, family, and pets.
INVITE a few close friends for a casual holiday potluck.
JUGGLE obligations in light of your priorities.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
LAUGH ... often.
MAKE TIME in your schedule to relax, refresh, reflect.
NOD and smile at people you see on the street.
OPEN your heart, your arms, and your home to others.
PRACTICE random acts of kindness.
QUESTION your old holiday traditions - do less and enjoy it more.
RESIST the urge to splurge ... on too much shopping, eating, or drinking.
SPEND LOTS OF TIME with those you love.
TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF - body, mind, and spirit.
UNDERSTAND that others may be anxious, depressed, sad, or stressed out.
VEER AWAY FROM HIGH-STRESS holiday situations.
WEAR clothes that make you feel comfy and warm.
XPLORE holiday traditions other than your own.
YEARN FOR AND WORK FOR PEACE in your life, in your home, in your work.
ZERO IN on what's truly important to you.
And remember ... THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE AREN'T THINGS.
Follow BJ Gallagher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BJ_Gallagher