As we enter the holiday season, I am constantly reminded of the tradition of gift-giving as a means to celebrate prosperity, gratitude, family, love and many more personal reflections that accompany year-end. Whether you are making a list and checking it twice, or offering daily gifts over time throughout the season of lights, there is no greater gift than that of yourself. While there may be no tangible cost of sharing a bit of your true, authentic self with loved ones, friends, family, even colleagues and partners, it can require a bit of courage. There is an inherent vulnerability in exposing one’s true thoughts, feelings, and aspirations with other people, especially when the response is unpredictable. However, the value of the gift is multiplied exponentially, and the returns are immeasurable.
Although the holidays can be incredibly hectic, stressful, exhausting and challenging at times, here are a few reminders to help you be fully present when it matters most.
5 Ways to Be Present during the Holidays
- Equip yourself. Ensure that you are well-rested, well-hydrated and well-nourished, so that your physical being can support and sustain all of the emotional and mental demands that the season requires. This equips you to show up with your full and best energy when it matters most.
- Be “there” physically, when possible. As the holiday song says, “There’s no place like Home for the Holidays.” There is something special about showing up in person, especially when it’s least expected. Wherever “Home” is for you, bring the gift of yourself and be there however you can. If that’s not possible, what is the next best alternative? a phone call? videocall? A personal, hand-written note?
- Be in the moment. Disconnect from your devices. Step away from the smartphone. Set aside the agenda, the shopping list, the To-Do List. Focus on the people around you right then, right there, right now. Listen, observe, and absorb all that your interactions with others may offer.
- Practice Mindfulness. Pay close attention to how you are experiencing the events as they unfold. Observe yourself in each situation and receive what it has to offer. Take a moment to reflect and gather your thoughts occasionally.
- Learn from it. Every encounter offers a lesson. Some teach us how we can improve ourselves. Some teach us how we don’t want to be. Look for the lessons that help you to achieve your ultimate goals. Journaling or expressing these insights can also help in processing the lessons. Reflect on how you would like 2017 to be even more fruitful and productive.
Here’s wishing you all the hope, joy and peace you can handle throughout this holiday season and beyond. As always, please email or schedule time with me as needed. I look forward to reconnecting with you again in January for an incredible New Year!