It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Everything from personal events to those on a global scale can affect our moods, productivity and even our health. Think about it. On top of all the daily tasks and personal stressors in your life, you’ve most likely felt some added static from all sides, whether that be taking the kids Trick-or-treating, hoping the Cubs break their 108-year drought, preparing the house for overnight relatives or voting in the presidential election.
Life ain’t easy. Nobody said it was. But that doesn’t mean life has to be difficult, either. There are ways to maintain a calm interior despite exterior distractions, every one of which can seem like an emergency at the time. Meditation, even for as little as five minutes a day, can be a great way to center yourself, put things in perspective and reprioritize what really needs your attention. Most experts agree that 20 minutes in the morning is ideal, but all will relent that if you can find just a few seconds to close your eyes and take a deep breath, you should take it!
Speaking of perspective, being pulled in multiple directions is a great way to gain an instant one. Take a little time to think about what truly is important to you, and put those goals first. They don’t have to be big goals or even professional ones. “My son asked me three times this morning if I was sure I could make his holiday play tonight.” There you go. THAT takes precedence. Find a way to reasonably work around your other obligations while keeping that goal center stage. When we do this, we often find that the other distractions we considered to be emergencies are just that, distractions. Get them done ahead of time or first thing the next morning, but barring a truly elevated obligation, chances are the world will still exist when you get back to this task once your son is in bed.
Breathe. Prioritize. Focus. There is no better time to internalize these actions than at the forefront of a new holiday season, new World Series champ and new president of the United States.