It’s the 3rd of January in 2016 and we have just come through the holidays, usually a bustling, busy time of year for most people. I certainly hope you enjoyed your holidays, celebrated just the way you wanted to and were able to experience time with family and friends mindfully, rather than exhausted, stressed and frazzled.
No one wants to have that kind of holiday – frazzled, rushed and feeling worn out rather than rejuvenated. But if you did, how do you recover, in what ways can you recenter and reconnect?
Start with evaluating the way in which you spent the holidays. What did you do, how did you spend your time, was it in the way you wanted or did you feel obligated to spend time doing things you did not want, that did not honour you or were simply unenjoyable? Depending on your closeness to family or how well you deal with other people’s disapproval you may have attended many events or family gatherings that you did not really wish to attend. Going forward you want to minimize those occurrences in your life, reduce them to only the ones you really want to attend and that bring you joy and energize you, rather than drain you. You are entitled to make the best choices for you and your immediate family without apologizing for or excusing your choices.
Now going forward into 2016 look at all the things you do and choose only those activities you enjoy. The ones that bring you happiness and improve your life. This is simplifying and editing your life for the most happiness and contentment. You also want to slow down and really experience what ever it is you are doing – eating, exercising, spending time in nature, companionship, a hobby, or what ever you are engaging in.
- Eat food that is prepared thoughtfully using whole foods, grown from the earth and is nourishing to your body and soul, rather than fast food, chain restaurants, or packaged and prepared foods.
- Exercise in a way that is enjoyable to you, engages your mind and your spirit. You don’t want it to be just one more chore you have to complete. Slow down and really connect with your workout, feel the muscles working, feel your breathing deepen, feel your body moving the way it was intended to move.
- If you are outdoors walking, running, skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, etc. then really immerse yourself in your environment. Observe the trees, the fields, the streams, meadows, dunes, forests, mountains – see them and appreciate the beauty you are in.
- Spending time with friends – turn your phone off or mute it and put it face down. Listen to the conversation, observe your friends, appreciate their faces, the way they dressed or the animation of their faces.
- If you have a hobby you love and you are doing it, really engage with it, again turn the phone off or mute it, play some music or work in silence – whichever suits you. Pay attention to the hobby and don’t think about all the other things you “should” be doing. In fact, throw “should” out of your vocabulary entirely. Should’s create guilt and divert your attention from the enjoyment of this moment, distracting you from what you are doing and diminishing your experience of everything.
Give it a try – slow down, be present, breathe deeply and find what matters to you in the way you spend your time. Each time you do something over the next few weeks take a moment and evaluate if it is something you really want to be doing, think you should do, or feel you must do. Anything you think is a “should” get rid of and drop from your life, then go after the “must do” stuff and see if you can get rid of as many of those as possible too. Then enjoy 2016 as the best year ever because you did what matters to you and not things that don’t.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ALL THE BEST FOR 2016!!!