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The holiday season is about kindness, generosity and connecting with the people we love, but many of us will also describe it as a time of stress, crazy schedules and thinning budgets. How do we embrace happiness and peace season? We’ve put together this short guide for you.

Focus on what’s important to you

We are empathetic beings. It’s easy to get caught in the emotional roller-coaster that people around us is going through, whether they are frantically shopping for last-minute gifts, trying to fit three Christmas parties in one week or contemplating the upcoming lunch with their not-so-favourite family members. To keep these emotions at bay, it helps to get clear on you want. What do you value about the holidays? What positive feelings and experiences do they bring? Use those as an anchor to return to every time you’re feeling off balance.

When any thoughts and emotions come your way that are not aligned with the way you want to feel, examine them and ask yourself, ‘Are these mine? Do I want them?’ If the answer is ‘no’, imagine them floating away like white clouds cross the sky.

Schedule time for yourself

After endless parties, award ceremonies, end-of-the-year concerts, family gatherings, you may feel like you have lost yourself somewhere in the crowd. To balance this out, block time on your schedule just for you. Have some quiet moments to meditate and enjoy your breakfast in the morning. Schedule 2-3 hours for a mini-retreat at home. Give yourself (or ask Santa to give you) one of our retreats and enjoy the beautiful scenery and a choice of activities that nourish your body, mind and soul.

If you mind is telling you that you can’t possible find any time for yourself right now, and it will have to wait until after the holidays, pause and ask yourself, ‘Is this really true? What can I say ‘no’ to, so that I can make space for myself?’ Even 10 minutes of quiet time in the morning can bring a feeling of peace that you can carry with you throughout your day.

Let your inner child play

Remember when you were a child and the holidays used to be magical? Reconnect to that magic through fun and play. Never mind if you’re feeling all grown up and too serious, there is always room for play in our lives, and it makes everything so much more exciting!

Every time you find yourself worried, try seeing the situation through the eyes of your inner child. What if this was a great adventure you were embarking on? What if you were looking for hidden treasure in unexpected places? What is your curiosity telling you?

And you don’t need to wait until you get stressed to start playing. Ask your inner child now what he or she would like to do and go for it!