We don’t have to try very hard to find signs that the holidays are fast approaching. Stores are putting up their decorations, many radio stations are playing holiday music and people are already starting to make their holiday “to-do” lists. Read from Kristi Stangeland, the importance of balance and intention in the holidays.
For many of us, these signs of the season are sure-fire stress triggers. Instead of sugar plums, they conjure up visions of lists dancing in their heads: the baking list, the shopping list, the card list, etc.
Do you have a laundry list of things you think you need to do in order to make the holidays “perfect?” For those of us who are guilty of list-overload, I suggest we rethink our holidays.
What would happen if we didn’t:
- Send holiday cards to people we haven’t seen in 20 years…
- Try to replicate the picture-perfect centerpiece from that glossy home magazine…
- Bake 10 different kinds of holiday cookies…
- Wrap every gift with shiny paper and bows…
- Host a holiday open house a week before Christmas…
This year I suggest we adopt a Feng Shui approach to the holidays. In an effort to find more serenity in our lives we can do more than de-clutter and re-organize our physical environments. We can also re-evaluate how we manage our time.Here is a specific technique to help de-clutter our holiday “to-do” lists so we can focus on the things that actually bring us the greatest joy at this time of year.
- Set aside 30 minutes of time when you will not be interrupted.
- Take nine minutes to write down all the items on your holiday “to-do” list. You know what I’m talking about: cooking, shopping, wrapping, baking, hosting, etc.
- Take three deep breaths to clear your mind. Then set a timer for six minutes and sit in silence, with your eyes downcast or closed. Let your thoughts come and go.
- When the six minutes are up, review your list with “fresh eyes.” Ask yourself: Does anyone care if this happens? How could I do this differently and with less effort? Can someone else take on this task?
- Then make a commitment to cross off the items that feel heavy and no longer serve you. Focus instead on those tasks that you truly enjoy.
This kind of mental organizing and decluttering can be very energizing. When we allow ourselves to let go of unrealistic or stressful obligations, we’re apt to discover that those “to dos” that we actually do undertake will be more enjoyable, because we can focus more time on them.
So if you’d rather tap into your inner artist and make your cookies your canvas, then pass on hosting the holiday dinner for 20. Chances are your cookies will be a bigger hit than the green bean casserole anyway.
Here’s to a clutter free holiday. Cheers!
Kristi Stangeland is the founder of Feng Shui Consulting Service. She holds a certificate from the BTB Feng Shui™ Masters Training Program, begun by Professor Thomas Lin Yun. Read more about Kristi.