THE BLOG
10/17/2014 10:42 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Stop! Take a Moment...

It's that time when the end of the year comes crashing through like a raging river of candy (Halloween), food (Thanksgiving), and shopping (Christmas). It's so easy to get swept up in its waters. Whether you love it or hate it, the river is coming and you can't really fight it, you just kind of have to surrender.

But here is what you can do: Take a moment. Breathe. And consider the following four questions for a minute...

Are you happy? I just read a quote from Viktor Frankl in his book Man's Search for Meaning: "Happiness can't be pursued, it ensues as the result of living a life of purpose and meaning." Are you living a life of purpose and meaning? What would it take to make that happen?

What's your dream? The more I learn and live my life, the more I believe in the power of visualizing what you want to see happen. Do we create our own reality with our thoughts? Perhaps. Try thinking only good things for a few days. See what happens. How could this year come to an end for you that would leave you splashing and laughing in the river, rather than drowning and fearful? After all, no one said you couldn't bring an inner tube!

Is your love unconditional? Do you love yourself unconditionally even though you screw things up all the time? (Who doesn't make mistakes??!!!) The worst is when someone hates him or herself, and then takes it out on everyone else. What would it be like to love both yourself and others unconditionally? Not easy! Right? But maybe, like exercise, it gets easier with practice. And luckily, you'll have plenty of time to practice over the next few months.

What do you need to stay sane, healthy, and happy? Think about it. Make a list. Put yourself first on it and give it to yourself. Give yourself the gift of self-care and health. And don't just limit "yourself" to your body. Your body is just the candy coating that protects the jewel that is your heart. If your heart is happy, everything (and everyone) else is happier, too.

OK. Have you taken the moment? Are you ready? Good. Me too. Let's rock this river!

For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com