How are you doing today? Are you feeling the hustle & bustle of the season? 

This past Sunday I found myself at Target. If you know me, I'm not much of a shopper, and you won't find me in big box stores very often. I was overwhelmed by the crowd of people that seemed to all be rushing through the store. I was hearing conversations about being busy, parties, and actually a little bickering about what holiday gifts to buy for who. It really hit me how hard many people push themselves through this holiday season feeling like they have a tremendous amount to do, and crazy schedule of events to keep. All the while the intention is to cherish special, traditional time spent with friends & family, right?

Would you like to feel less stressed about this season, and actually be present to enjoy the sweet gatherings with the people in your life? I've got a couple of suggestions today that I hope will help you with that!

1) Let go of your expectations of things being perfect. If you have tendencies to worry over getting just the perfect gifts for people, preparing just the right food, your house perfectly clean before a gathering, the right outfit for the work party, the decorations better than they were last year, or worries about how certain people will get along at the holiday parties....(I could go on & on here, but you get the picture) Just let go. There's deeper meaning to the gatherings you are attending & planning and the gifts you are giving. Focus on that. Trying to make everything just right can distract from what's really important. If the turkey gets burned, you're late to the work party, your favorite nephew is less than thrilled over the gift you finally decided on, or your in-laws have a political argument with your siblings over will be okay! Worrying about things that either don't really matter that much or that we can't control is counter productive to our happiness. The more you are able to let go, the more enjoyable all of it will be.

1) Be Present! When you are gathering with family, loved ones, or friends over the holidays be as present in the moment as you can. In the busy lives most of us lead, getting people together can be tough to schedule in! Being fully present while gathered with your loved ones will not only reduce the feeling of stress, but it will give you some true connection time with those in your life. If you are someone (like most of us) that spends a lot of time on your electrical device, just put it away during these gatherings. Engage & connect in person. Even better yet, suggest that the whole family or party does so! Can you imagine how different a gathering would feel in this day & age without devices in anyone's hands?!?! I'd encourage you to try it :) 

Wishing you a joyful week!