What if you gifted yourself with something extraordinary this year? What if you gave yourself the soul gift of you?
It's that time of year, and many of us have our minds on gift-giving and the joy of the holiday season. But along with that also comes a bit of stress.
The hustle and bustle of choosing just the right thing for your mother-in-law, getting that holiday dinner just perfect, putting up the holiday decorations, getting the house in order, and preparing to host guests can all add up to a pretty stressful time.
Frankly, all of it can be just a little bit overwhelming and, I don't know about you all, but I’ve been known to be a bit hard on myself at times.
You can do several things to take care of yourself during the holiday season, invoking the idea of the leisurely hustle to stay elegant, peaceful, and calm no matter what.
Be Intentional in Everything You Do
When I wake up in the morning, I love to take a few moments to breathe, express gratitude for the abundance I have in my life and set my intention for the day.
It's that quiet time just for me, and I relish it. Coffee in hand, I sit and think about what the day has in store for me, what I need to accomplish, and how I'll prioritize things. In this way, I enter my day with calm and clarity.
When we stop, breathe, and focus on mindfulness and intention, it helps alleviate the chaos of our daily lives. These actions can be especially beneficial during the hectic days leading up to the holidays and all that goes with this time of year.
Journaling Through the Journey
Emotions can run high around the holidays, regardless of whether we are spending time with family or not.
No matter where we're at concerning the holidays, we all face the traffic and the crowds, the holiday celebrations, and – for some – a bit of loneliness or melancholy.
Whether it's the stressed-out, angry lady in the checkout line or that family member who gets under your skin, you can express your feelings on paper and respond to the outside world with grace.
Focus on Forgiveness
"To err is human; to forgive is divine." -Alexander Pope
During the holiday season and other times during the year, you may be compelled to spend time with family members for whom you have – shall we say – less than positive regard. Perhaps there is some adverse history there, or they've said and done some things that hurt you in the past.
I have a friend who has always had a difficult relationship with her mother. But, nevertheless, she chooses to show up for her mom, as her mother is elderly and needs family around. My friend says that the key to getting through family gatherings with her mom – or even a phone call for that matter – is to focus on forgiveness and keep clean boundaries.
Forgiveness is the voluntary internal process of letting go of feelings and thoughts of resentment, bitterness, or anger toward someone who we believe has wronged us; and, that goes for ourselves, as well.
The Golden Gift of Gratitude
I know I say it a lot, but I'll repeat it; gratitude is the soothing balm to all of your frustrations, anxiety, and overwhelm.
It's easy to get consumed by the sometimes hectic, chaotic or even negative energy of this time of year, but staying intentional about your daily gratitude expression will soothe your soul immensely.
Give Yourself The Gifts You Deserve
Every holiday season, I get busy like many others, finding the perfect gift for those I love. And, I also pick out a few special things for myself.
Sometimes that's an experience, like a sublime dinner at my favorite restaurant, a glass of champagne and a long, hot bubble bath, or an entire day of pampering at my favorite day spa.
Sometimes it's a shiny new pretty treasure like that gorgeous pair of boots I've had my eye on.
And, it's also the little things that I do every day: the personal gift of time, meditation, journaling, exercise, good food, or a nice long walk, or yoga session.
No matter what it is, one thing is certain; I make sure I treat myself just as I treat others – with love and abundant generosity.
My email inbox is already teaming with offers, promotions, and specials, and it gets even busier during the holiday season.
If you're out shopping, you can say no to leaving your email address with a retailer.
If you are shopping online, check out as a guest or mask your email address; by doing so, you don't accidentally subscribe to email lists.
It’s always easy to opt-in, but you'll save yourself from the time suck of future sales and daily shopping promos arriving in your inbox by opting out.
Indulge in your favorite holiday treats, but try to eat well 85-90% of the time. Eat greens at every meal – even breakfast! Don't eat the junk you don't care about just because it's there, and savor the first few bites of your all-time favorites.
I often talk about the confusion many women have around the meaning of abundance. Some equate abundance with a fat bank account, travel, a nice car and other materialistic things.
There's nothing wrong with wanting nice things – you get to want what you want.
And, I know a lot of people who have all those things and yet they are not happy. Rather they are constantly in a scarcity mindset, fearing they won't have enough or they might lose what they have.
Abundance also comes in the form of friendship, love, laughter, joy, and grace.
Abundance is a full heart, not a full house.
Avoid "Stuff" Overwhelm
Avoid the creation of clutter by adhering to the one in, one out rule. For every item that comes in, another must go out. Apply this rule to gifts, clothing, and holiday decorations.
Not only is this beneficial for our own serenity in our surroundings, but it's a terrific a life lesson for the littles in your world.
Instead of giving things this year, why not give yourself, and others, gifts of experience? Here are a few ideas:
- A membership, a vacation, or a spa day.
- A great (digital) book or album.
- A course on bread making, writing, art, or entrepreneurship - anything that lights up curiosity and excitement.
Of course, you can give yourself the gift that keeps on giving- a membership to the School of Self-image; that's the best gift of all – the gift of choosing yourself.
Soul Gifts- The Best Kind of Gift There is
Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, or nothing at all, it's the holiday gift-giving season and it's all around you.
You deserve something wonderful and it doesn't get better than the soul gifts listed above.
Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance
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