The holidays seem to have snuck up on me while I was looking the other way. This past weekend I was in NYC and could no longer deny that it's that time of year -- there were lights and decorations everywhere. It also seems like stressed-out folks are everywhere as well. I, too, find myself in extra high gear. I'm noticing that throughout the day my head is saying "there's not enough time for that" quite often. I've been ignoring it and trading getting less done for continuing to maintain my self-care.
I've made a conscious choice to do less this year. I'd like to do less but be more. To that end, I'm doing less decorating, card buying, present shopping, etc. and being more -- spending more time with those I care about, spending time being with myself to stay grounded, and being more present to all that I have in my life. When I get swept up in the rush of the external part of the holidays, I lose sight of the meaning of these holiday celebrations.
So my key for staying grounded this year -- I'm amping up my yoga practice, continuing with my daily pranayama practice, and I'm cutting back on my to do list. I'm also physically documenting my gratitude. I'm writing out a list of all that I'm grateful for each day. In the meantime, I am doing a few things for Thanksgiving, including searching for a yummy vegetarian recipe to bring to a un-vegetarian-friendly house. Found some great ones here.
I won't be flying for this holiday but I will be flying next month for Christmas. It made me smile to see that the airlines are bracing for harried holiday passengers by offering yoga. Yes, that's right -- yoga in airport terminals. If you're flying through Miami or Cincinnati/Kentucky you're in luck. Of course you can still make use of your yogic tools -- with or without yoga classes in the terminal.
If you're looking for a bunch of wonderful yoga techniques to banish stress and keep you energized through the holidays, I highly recommend this You Tube channel.
As this week flies by, I offer a simple piece of advice -- BREATHE! Extending the exhale gradually will calm you down. The point of the holidays is time with loved ones, happiness, and connection, not stress. Reach for the bliss.