December challenge: Step off the holiday merry-go-round

As December progresses, it’s not unusual to find ourselves run ragged under a heavy load of holiday-related errands, engagements and obligations. Because the “holiday rush” often creates more stress than cheer, December’s challenge is thus:

At some point during the month, when you feel commitments and to-do lists pressing in on you, follow these steps:

  1. Stop. Stop moving, stop rushing. Sit down and breathe for a few minutes. Then give yourself wholehearted permission to get off the holiday merry-go-round and take a mini break from it all. (Trust me: the world will not end if you do this!)
  2. Clear space in your schedule for a holiday date with yourself. Cancel an appointment, bow out of a social engagement, opt not to rush to the mall post-haste in search of that perfect gift. Instead, give yourself a gift. Whether it’s a day, an evening or just a few hours, create a pocket of time for some much-needed self-care.
  3. Use this time to do something special for yourself — something that will make you feel happy, lighter, lifted. Maybe you want to make a pot of tea and cosy up on the couch with a good book, or go for a walk in a natural setting, or cue up some tunes and prepare a flavourful meal that you can enjoy at a leisurely pace. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that brings you smiles instead of stress!
  4. Keep your date with yourself — no matter what! You are worth it. Trust me on this; you are definitely worth it.

It can be difficult in our fast-paced, do-it-all society for people to stop, take a break, say “no,” put personal well-being first. But it’s OK to do so. It really, truly is. No guilt required, either! Holiday “obligations” will pile up, no matter what you do. Let them pile. Your holiday season will be no less bright because of this little bit of time you’ve taken for yourself. In fact, your season might sparkle just a little bit more because of it.



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