The traditional intentions for the holidays are family, friends, food and socializing. Chanukah, Christmas, Advent, Kwanza, Yule ... so many cultural events, this is the spirit of the season. Yet, it is well known that there is also a risk of stress and overwhelm.

Winter is a season of celebration, it is also the season of the element of water. Water can be turbulent and have us flailing and feeling like we are drowning. It can also be a season of rest, renewal, and going with the flow.

My intention is to share simple tips for helping you to choose rest and renewal. Guiding you to navigate the energies and emotions and arrive at the new year rested, renewed, and ready to create and prosper. My gift to you and your gift to yourself.

Following are a few simple tips to help you balance the fun doing and the restful yin energy of the winter water element and enjoy a holiday with less or no stress.

The ideas are simple and may be familiar. However you relate to them please receive them as reminder-invites to be in practice.

I invite you to:

  1. Join the fun - Remember it is your holiday too! This sounds simple but often we focus on giving, creating, and making it wonderful for everyone else and forgetting it is our holiday too. For years I was guilty of working to create the holiday then sitting back to observe while others enjoyed my creations. My energy and appreciation for the season changed when I put myself first and remembered to join in the fun and celebration.
  2. Be Sense-uous - At least once a day, stop the doing, breathe and take in the spirit of the holiday with all of your senses. By pausing, breathing and bringing your whole being to the experience it will feel like a mini-retreat. The other day, I stopped along Sixth Avenue to take in a deep breath and enjoy the fragrance of the pine trees for sale on the sidewalk.
  3. Boundaries - Allow yourself to set boundaries on your time and energy. Be intentional about your time, your eating, your drinking, your helping, and when you say "Yes" or say "No". Some days will be all about the party and others will be about your needs and desires. It is OK to say "No" when you are doing too much. The winter element calls us to simplify, let go, and conserve energy whenever possible.
  4. Big-Kid-friendly - Be sure to add some mindful and mindless fun to your holiday. Get in touch with your inner child, reveling in art, music, and play. Be intentional about activities that get you out of your head with all the thinking and planning and into a lighter body and mind. It can be as simple as joining your children, grandchildren or pet on the floor with their toys, building a snowman or flying a kite. As long as it includes some movement, laughter, or using your hands more than your head.
  5. Retreat & Renew - Plan time just for you. This may be a quick break during the busyness or more time after the holidays. Put it on the calendar NOW! It can be part of a day, a whole day or more. It may be a day you enjoy being home alone with a bath, book, and music, or going out to a spa. A day of art and creativity or a walk in the woods. A day when you enjoy your first nap in years, or maybe a simple day with nothing on the calendar. Even if you don't know what you will do, set the time aside and put the date on your calendar now.

Wishing you and yours a safe, warm and happy holiday of joyful energy.

From my heart to yours,