“Peace - It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” (unknown)
This time of year brings with it extra social gatherings and situations where we will see family and friends. Your job may require additional hours, or overtime, as quarter-end and year-end reports are due. Emotions can get ramped up at this time of year as well. Anxiety, and what I like to call our “inner critic”, can often feed us negative messages; especially around the holidays. The “inner critic” will see that something we are doing should have been done better…and these negative messages we tell ourselves can feel like they spring from a bottomless well.
When we think of peace and calmness we think of our best calm space, wherever that may be. It is often away from daily routines and responsibilities, but in reality, the solution is finding peace as we move through our regular days; which means slowing ourselves down a little. That may seem counterproductive when we have extra tasks to get through and we are feeling stressed, but hitting the pause button is a good thing. In the end, we are going to feel less frayed and frazzled, and will authentically feel peaceful, instead of feeling like a volcano about to erupt.
What does slowing-down look like? Well, instead of making a quick decision, remember that it’s okay to pause even for 30 seconds. Often pausing also gives us the opportunity to recognize our feelings and the ability to reframe something so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming. The other great thing about pausing is that we have a chance to breathe too. This helps us stay present and it’s like a little mini recharge so we can keep going and feel like we are in control and not like we are just checking things off our list on autopilot.
This holiday season, I encourage you to set the list aside from time to time to connect with yourself and others, and find some calmness within, and in between daily activities. I enjoyed decorating cookies with my daughter last weekend and I am not a great decorator. We laughed until we literally cried at some of our creations. This calming diversion reminded me of what’s important during the holidays and left me recharged.