December can be a very hectic and stressful time of year. We have the additional pressure of buying gifts, decorating the house, and entertaining. We tend to eat and drink more and sleep less. So even though this is supposed to be a joyous time of year many of us feel stressed and frazzled.
One of the reasons for this is we are measuring ourselves using unrealistic yardsticks. There is always someone whose home is more beautifully decorated and who just seems to have it all together. If we compare what we’re doing with what we see others doing we are setting ourselves up for feeling sad and somewhat “less than.”
This happens because we get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays. We are swept along by what we see on television and on Facebook. And before we know it the holidays are over and we hardly know where the month went.
One of the keys to making the holidays more meaningful is being mindful throughout the month. It can feel like the month flies by because we’re focused on what we still need to do as opposed to what we’re doing at the moment. The holidays should not be about the tasks we need to do but about the people we’re with when we’re with them.
To that end, try to find things that bring meaning to the month. When you visit with friends or family, try to be present in the moment and think about the friendship, the connection, the warmth. Take time to let people know what they mean to you and how you feel about them. It’s particularly meaningful if you can let someone know how he or she has impacted your life. That is a very powerful gift. You can do it in person or in writing. As Nike says, just do it!