Can you feel the virus of busy-ness in the air? Kids finish school, friends want to catch up, holiday plans must be made, and presents ticked off the shopping list. And then there are the looming work deadlines...suddenly the festive season feels more frantic than fun! It's supposed to be a time of joy, giving, peace, connection, rest and reflection. So try these tips to rediscover meaning amid the madness!
Joy: what brings you the lightness, freedom and flow that we associate with joy? Reading a book, swimming in the ocean, your favourite hobby, making a cake? Whatever it is for you, make space for it to happen over the Christmas break.
Giving: every Christmas there are many people who miss out. So along with your list of gifts for friends and family, find a way to give to those less fortunate. Plenty of charities gather donations for hampers, gifts for kids, or what about serving Christmas lunch at a homeless shelter. Giving is a gift that pays you back with warm feelings.
Peace: busy-ness generates its own level of superfluous noise, but silence is very healing for the brain. Find moments of peaceful quiet in the coming weeks: turn off the TV if you're not really watching it, drive with the radio off, rake the leaves rather than using a blower, put things down gently, close doors quietly.
Connection: simply spending time together doesn't guarantee connection. It is your attention that makes time meaningful. So put down your devices, lift your head and give the gift of pure, undistracted attention this Christmas.
Rest: lying on the couch with a full belly for a few hours after a big Christmas lunch is not the only rest you need at the end of a big year! Give your mind a break from technology: play some old fashioned board games, go for long walks in nature, read an engrossing book.
Reflection: the end of the year is a major transition point and a prefect time for reflection. What have you learnt this year? What do you want to change? What will you keep, discard, and grow? Who is 'the best version of yourself' that you will bring to 2018?
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