To the tune of “12 Days of Christmas,” if you will, please: “On the first day of Christmas, my 2016 brought to me, one trip to Denver, two holiday pageants, three potluck dinners, four elementary school projects, five great big boxes...” Why does everything have to happen in December? I know I’m not alone feeling frazzled and overwhelmed this time of year. For this week’s Healthy Habits, let’s pull down the oxygen mask and look at some methods for self-preservation.
- Create spaciousness in your day. Look for a tiny pocket of slow motion. Maybe that means choosing a yoga class instead of an intense weights and cardio session. Or take a 10-minute nap instead of vacuuming. The dust will still be there in January.
- Connect with the Divine. At this harried time of year, 15 minutes alone with your Spirit Source is not optional—it’s essential. Prayer, meditation, a walk in the woods; however you plug in, plug in. Your universal energy is there, waiting to restore you.
- Declutter. As the onslaught of new objects come into your home, make sure things are going out, too. This applies to gifts received, new decorations purchased, winter clothing added to the wardrobe, etc. One in, one out.
- Take a Sabbath. Some Christian faiths don’t work on Sundays; for the Jewish faith, Shabbat is from sundown on Friday to the appearance of the first three stars on Saturday evening. In some Muslim countries, Friday is a nonwork day, and for some Muslims, Friday is day for prayer. If it’s not a regular practice for you, you may find it challenging to take such a Sabbath day, but try it once this month, for rest and spiritual enrichment. Turn off the digital devices, skip the mall, spend some time with your family reading and cuddling.
- Nap for fun. Cozy up with the softest blankets and pillows you can find and make like a caterpillar in its cocoon.
- Ditch the obligation. Oh Nancy Reagan, you do come in handy here. “Just say no.” To putting up decorations you no longer love. To events you don’t have time for. To bringing the lasagna.
- Check in. This is especially important for parents and other caretakers. Ask yourself daily, “Are my needs being met?” If your lunch was Pringles and you are going on four hours of sleep, it’s time to step in, on your own behalf. There’s only one you. Be nice to you.