As we bring this year to a close, there is excitement in the air. Everyone is hoping to capture a magical moment. If you’ve forgotten what that delight looks like, spend some time with a child and they will remind you – decorations, parties, seasonal food and for some families, a very special person visits their house on the eve of the 24th.
Magical Moment or Business Consultation?
As much fun and joyful this time of the year can be, for some it invokes a lot of stress. The reasons for the stress are discussed on radio shows, online articles and in conversations with friends. This year, I decided the month prior to December I would have a theme, a mental approach so-to-speak, about the holiday season. The experiment’s theme is “Calm and Bright.” I was inspired by a friend’s artwork where she printed “All is Calm, All is Bright” on one of her pieces, and every time I looked at it, a big smile spread across my face. Then I thought, what would if look like to embrace ‘calm’ and ‘bright’?
For someone who started a new business originally focused on inspiring women entrepreneurs and has transformed the mission into helping girls find their voice, you may be wondering if I am capable of upholding “calm and bright” with so much change in such a short period of time.
From my perspective, your mindset is key to everything you do and is part of your sense of wellness or well-being, which is one of the values of my company. Maintaining a positive mindset is key to everything I take on especially in the midst of great change.
As the days of the final calendar month of the year are passing, each day someone I know is catching a cold, growing stressed or running into obstacles for upholding their most treasured family traditions. I’ve tried to spread CALM or BRIGHT thoughts and intentions their way, even if it’s just a few words of encouragement. This theme reminded me of the years I spent studying and practicing mindfulness, and I’ve settled on a handful of ways to help have an easy transition into the new year. Any of these tips could literally be implemented any day, starting now. Explore which tips below work for you.
5 Tips for a Mindful Year End
Despite how busy you may be, especially with all the additional events scheduled this time of the year, you can spare five minutes. If possible, a space of your own is ideal, even if it’s the closet! Try inhaling on a count of five, then exhaling to a count of five. The count ideally is counting in your head - you don’t want anyone to over hear you and ask what you’re doing. This is a few minutes of peace for yourself. Do this process a few times, then after the inhale on the five count, hold for a five count, then exhale for a 5 count. Set a timer if you need to, you may be surprised how relaxing this process can be.
You’ve just given yourself a gift. Perhaps even a reset in case your day was growing increasingly hectic. Do this every day leading up to the new year and try to continue it once the new year begins.
Extra Travel Time
You may have a big road trip planned or a trip to the airport on the horizon. Guess what? So do a lot of other people…give yourself the time you need with a bit of a buffer to account for the unexpected. For those staying put in their own homes this year, you will still have special events to attend or the typical grocery shopping (when everyone else is shopping for themselves as well as guests.) It can be off putting to go to your neighborhood grocery store and find a line of traffic just to get a parking space, a jam in the parking lot and then no carts to carry your groceries while shopping around.
Believe me, I know, it has happened to me. Remember my theme – stay calm. There may be a different time that you can run errands or a different route to get to your destination, however plan for extra travel time regardless. In case you hit a traffic jam, you will still be able to make it to those special events on time and find a parking space. No need to create undue stress if you can avoid it.
A Cup of Tea
The act of making a cup of tea can be relaxing in and of itself. Boiling the water, selecting the flavor you want, smelling its aroma and waiting for the tea to steep. The warmth of the mug as your hands hold it.
Ah, deep breath, relax.
During this season, people sometimes forget to take care of themselves.
A little act of self-care and slowing down, even for a few minutes, can go a long way. Please, treat yourself to this little oasis of an experience. Several teas have health perks and contain antioxidants – choose those if you think it will keep you in a healthy state.
Have you ever experienced that boost in mood when someone thanks you for something or tells you how much they appreciate you? I hope so. It’s your turn to do that for someone if you’re not in the regular habit of doing so. When you show someone appreciation there is an exchange that occurs, it deepens your connection. People can lose sight of things this time of the year due to the consumerism our culture prioritizes, however things cannot replace relationships. Relationships are key to a good life, just look at the people living in the blue zones of our world. A little show of appreciation can go a long way. Take time out to do this for someone you value.
Wherever you are in life, whatever phase is manifesting, you can give. My definition of giving is similar to many non-profits I’ve been involved with over the years: give through time, treasure and/or talent. Your efforts on any level can truly make a difference to a person, a small group of people or an organization.
Many years ago my father gifted me a quote to hang in my room:
“The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
At that time in my life, I had decided to become a teacher and was about to start working in the public school system. During that time, I did not have treasure (money) to give, however I could give my time and talent. I continued to do so for years. Every year, I find some way to give, and not only during the holiday season; however, if your year has flown by, and you’ve needed to focus on other things, take a moment and decide how you are going to give something to someone before the year ends.
May these five tips assist you in having a smooth transition into the new year! Stay calm, be bright, remember to breathe and spread good cheer.
May there be many moments of tremendous joy and fulfillment for you now and in the new year. Best wishes.