This weekend a few friends and colleagues voiced frustration to me about the added pressures of the holidays. Most everyone loves the holiday season, yet there is that ‘extra stuff’ each of us needs to get done! Shopping, wrapping, delivering, mailing, charity shifts, dinner parties, and travel plans are just a few added responsibilities. And then we have our normal work and other activities to balance as well! It is easy to get overwhelmed and lose the spirit of the season in the process.
I wanted to offer one suggestion, which has certainly helped me when I am facing the extra crunch of deadlines and added pressures. I simply turn the noise off – if only for a few minutes stolen here and there. For example:
- When I am driving between errands, instead of holiday classical music or NPR on the radio; I embrace a few minutes of total silence in my car. Radio and phone are off. It is amazing to me how 10-15 minutes of silence in my car can calm my nerves.
- I also try to find 15-20 minutes early in the morning – before Pilates, before emails – for quiet meditation. This centers me and gives me an anchored start to a higher Power before I start my day.
- Finally, instead of immediately turning on the TV, radio, or computer when you hit your house at the end of a long day, give yourself a few few minutes to just look at your Christmas tree and mantels and lean into an unexpected moment of silence.
“There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You can find that deep place of silence right in your own home, room, garden or bathtub. Learn to get in touch with that silence in yourself, and know that everything in life has a purpose.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.