The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

[courtesy: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com%5D

This time of year can bring us feelings as if we are moving in ten different directions all at once.  We are literally thinking about the next thing we, ‘have to get done’ while we are doing the thing on the list before that task!

We do a lot of planning and preparation, don’t we?  We are trying to get just about everything done in such a short time, from tree trimmings to table setup: our minds are filled with stressing over these ‘must do’ tangible items.

It’s all about the insanity of the planning.  But wait!  Did you plan for something as equally important as the perfect present purchase for Aunt Abigail or the ‘must-have’ “Don’t Forget to be Awesome” pencil set (yes, this is actually a, ‘thing’ this year)!

Okay, you’ve got your list(s) and no doubt you are checking them thrice (Santa has nothing on you, does he)?  But did you put some tick boxes on the list for YOURSELF?  Did you factor into those never-ending shopping errands anything about how you need to make sure you are taking some clear action for YOU? In other words, I think it is vitally important to literally plan for your own self-care in order to have a much more calm, happy, and joyful time through all of the mayhem that the season brings.

Here are five of my ‘tiny tips‘ to help you through the holiday happenings:

*Create memories for yourself while you are busily buzzing around.  Instead of focusing on the intensity of getting that next gift on the list, try to be in the moment while doing it.  Notice the little girl who is buying a present for her Mum and is so excited about it.  Note the music in the shop or on the street.  You might just remember this later on when thinking back about the hustle and bustle of the season.

**Try to look for a tiny thing you can do for someone else in a spontaneous way and look forward to ‘finding it.’  Helping that woman who is trying to maneuver her way through the door with ten bags and two little ones at her side would be grateful to you for your hand holding the door.  Helping someone else in a harried state often reduces our internal stress.

***Give yourself a, ‘something to look forward to’ at the end of a busy holiday day.  Make it something that you might not normally ‘allow’ yourself during the holidays because you are, ‘just too busy’! Not this year! What about a tiny set-up that includes a good cup of tea (or whatever libation you fancy), that book you know has been sitting on the shelf much too long, feet up, and smile when you realize you factored in this ‘ahhhh’ moment into your harried holiday schedule.

[courtesy:  https://www.pinterest.com/explore/cozy-fireplace/?lp]

****I know I said this list was about ‘tiny tips’ but this one might be a bit beyond that, YET oh so necessary.  Promise yourself that it is much more important in the long-run to your own inner sanity that you cannot obligate yourself to every single holiday invite you get.  Again, the holidays are supposed to be joyful, and if showing up at every event you are invited to makes you feel overwhelmed, guess what? Don’t! Listening to your own inner guidance system when you know you’d feel better giving ‘it a swerve’ is going to serve you much better for your own mental health, than the fact that you were scrunched into a tiny spot with loud music and with people you hardly know anyway.  Which memory would you like to have; the former or the latter? I’ll take the swerve for calm and a peace of mind, please!

*****And lastly on my wee list is this:  Accept and feel gratitude that you can make choices to literally change how you will remember the holidays.  By placing some self-saving moments into this sometimes all-encompassing time of year, you might look back and recall the little moments of ‘created joy’ that came about all because you cared about you.

If you need a reminder, pop me an email; I’ll be happy to oblige!

[courtesy: pinterest.com]

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