It’s often said this is “the most wonderful time of the year!” You can also say this is the most EXPENSIVE time of the year! Between gifts and travel and increased costs for heating and electricity, we can find ourselves looking for ways to save a buck or two. To help you with your holiday budgets, I have three gifts for you:
Gift #1- Breathing. Life can get busy and stressful; sometimes we need help and support from others. Something we can do with and for ourselves is to breathe. Go ahead, take a deep breath. Feels good, huh? Now try a few in a row. Deep breathing has been shown to have a positive impact on your brain, heart, digestive and immune systems--Wow!
Gift #2- Five Senses. My son has recently introduced me to meditation and yoga practices. We are fortunate to have many options right here in our local communities--Google the name of your town and yoga. Yoga and meditation are wonderful for bringing you into the immediate moment and freeing you from the worries or sadness of the past or future. A simple way to do this on your own is to think about your five senses. Take a moment to focus on what you hear, see, smell, taste or feel. This simple mindfulness activity can go a long way in bringing your stress and anxiety levels down.
Gift #3- Appreciating and Celebrating. No matter how tough things get, all of us have many things going well in our lives and much for which to be thankful. Friends, family, pets, a favorite sports team, ice cream, doing well at school or work--the list can go on and on. Because life gets so busy, it’s important we take time to appreciate and celebrate those joys and successes. You can do this as part of your own reflection, or even better, involve others. Begin a meal by asking each person to share some good news from the day. Let a co-worker know about something you saw them do really well. There are many ways we can recognize and celebrate each other.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season!! Please enjoy these gifts and share them with others. ~By Greg Stefanski