The Gift of Holiday Presence

The holidays are meant to be H A P P Y, remember?! Give yourself the gift of presence! (It’s not all about the presents, it’s about the P R E S E N C E.) We often get so wrapped up in the falalalala that we forget to pause, breathe, and actually enjoy the most wonderful time of year. Below are our top tips on staying present, sane, and even H A P P Y throughout the holiday season.

Pick and choose. Your calendar is FULL of holiday parties, cookie exchanges, secret Santas, cocktail parties, and pure busyness. It’s when we over-commit that December becomes a blur and we end up ringing in the New Year in need of a nap, vacation, and detox. What if we stopped saying “yes” to everything and commit to only what we’re actually looking forward to?? Not to sound like the Grinch, but truth is that we have a choice. Say yes to the things that you enjoy and skip the rest; you’ll have more fun and be less burned out!

Embrace the crazy. Holiday shopping, in some regard, is pretty unavoidable for most of us. While it would have been ideal to start the shopping early to avoid the last-minute crunch, for most of us, that concept is long gone (better luck next year!) Instead of heading into the madness with frustration and angst before you even find a parking spot, commit to embrace the chaos, lines, music, and the crowds. Turn shopping into a family affair, girl’s night out, or excuse for a date. Remember that you always have a choice. Remind yourself what the holidays are really about and choose to be positive, you’ll find that the little things just won’t bug you as much. The hustle and bustle is out there, so we might as well embrace it!

Catch your breath. We get so ‘wrapped up’ in the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cookie-baking, caroling…This just leaves us overwhelmed and under the weather. Schedule down time with (or without) friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with staying in for a movie or game night, partying in your pajamas, or soaking up the season solo in a warm bath. Schedule time to do nothing just like you would put aside time for an important event. When you are out and about, remind yourself often to pause, take a long, deep breath and return to the current moment instead of worrying about what’s to come and go. Click here for more mindful tips and here for OHH’s tips on staying healthy throughout the holidays.

It’s the thought that counts…right?! The more thought we put into our gift-giving, the more we enjoy the giving more than the getting. So, instead of thinking of each gift as another check on your to-do list, take some time to put genuine thought before you buy, especially for those near and dear to your heart. Few of us need more “stuff,” so instead of clutter under the tree, spend some time doing for others to fulfill their hearts and yours this holiday season.

One Healthy Breakdown: keep presence over presents this year!

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