Updated: Feb 13, 2020
It is so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in ourselves this season, sometimes we miss the entire point.
Everyone has their own 'stuff.'
The best gift we can give ourselves and others is kindness. Every single person we pass in our day is going through something we know nothing about. And
...with the stress of the season, albeit unnecessary stress, it is very easy to be short-tempered, to be self-absorbed, and even to sometimes be downright rude.
One of the keys of being mindful is to 'pause' - to stop and consider your reactions. That is the only thing in any situation that you can control. You can choose to react negatively, which we all know will only make things worse. Or, you can choose to not 'react' at all. You can simply let the situation roll on by, acknowledging it, and then letting it go. If you are pro-active with your thoughts, you will begin to notice that things aren't really quite as bad as our monkey brains make them out to be.
Do you have a plan for the holidays to keep your stress level in check? Here are some things to consider...
Reflect on how kind you are to yourself. Do you put your needs last? Do you refrain from asking for help when you need it? If you could be more kind to yourself, take a small step in that direction. Maybe something as simple as taking a little break, getting a little more sleep or doing something you enjoy. Maybe even (gasp!) buy yourself a little gift for the holidays.
Reflect on how kind you are to others. Are you able to empathize with someone you disagree with? Can you objectively look at the disagreement and understand why the other person is coming from where they are? You don't have to agree - but being able to see both side is so beneficial to effective communication. Are you judgmental? If you said no, I'm guessing you aren't being honest. We all judge...the important part is to recognize you are doing it in the moment, and stop.
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill
Do you think about the greater good – all of the people you don’t know personally who might benefit from a little kindness? Again, if you have room for growth here, start small. Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger. Try saying or doing something kind toward someone you may not particularly like. Volunteer somewhere during the holidays. Each exercise strengthens your own empathy and kindness levels.
Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger.
The holidays can make people crazy. Just remember that, and instead of giving into the hype of hype of the season, take it at your own pace, and practice your mindfulness daily. It just might make the next holiday season something you look forward to.