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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

5 Tips to Jumpstart Holiday Happiness

Click here to print out your free holiday mandala to color or paint!

Wow – the holidays seems to have come out of nowhere this season! With such a brief amount of time between Thanksgiving and the first of December, like many people, I feel a bit unprepared and overwhelmed.

Luckily, I know that the best thing I can do to defuse those feelings is to dip into my bag of Creative Oasis™Coaching tricks. Since I use these techniques myself, I thought I'd share them here to help you jumpstart some holiday happiness of your own.

5 Tips to Jumpstart Holiday Happiness

#1 – Reward Yourself with Short Creative Breaks

I printed out the free holiday mandala above to use as a fun and easy way to reward myself each time I spend a some time on a project or check something off my to-do list. I've been playing with it throughout the day in five minute bursts. It's great way to stay motivated and reward myself with a little creative play. If you like, why not click on the link under the mandala up top to print one for yourself? 

#2 – Say Ho-Ho-No

What if you take a look at your to-do list each day this month and chose at least one thing to let go? If we tend to have somewhat unrealistic expectations for ourselves, chances are that's even more true during the holidays. In addition to all of the things in our usual routine we're heaping on extra social outings, shopping excursions, baking, cooking, school and dance programs and the like. Toss in the unexpected weather snafu or two and you've got a recipe for instant holiday stress.

The truth is the world won't come to a grinding halt if we skip a thing or two especially if we've filled our to-do lists with more than we can realistically handle. How do you think it would feel to release at least one "to-do" each day and gave yourself the gift of letting go?

#3 – Take Elf-Like Steps

Any holiday happening, project or party – no matter how big – can be broken down into smaller steps. Planning the holiday get-together for your family is a large undertaking, but think of all the tiny steps you can take along the way. Does the thought of addressing and stamping all of those Christmas cards have you feeling Grinchy? What if you just did five at a time? Focusing on just one small piece of a project at a time or tackling a task in short ten or fifteen minute bursts helps diffuse feelings of overwhelm and increase feelings of comfort and joy.

#4 – Ask Yourself These Small Questions

Whatever the holiday event or project on your plate asking these two questions can be a big help:
"How can I make this a little easier?"
"How can I make this a bit more fun?"
Often we're running on autopilot and simply taking a second to ask these questions can shed new light for us. Even if it's something as simple as realizing, "Addressing these cards would feel a lot nicer if I was listening to my favorite holiday CD and drinking hot tea." Or realizing, "Hey - I have a teenager who can help me wrap all of these packages!"

#5 – Remember to Breath

This one sounds simple, but how many times have you found yourself holding your breath as you put the finishing touches on a present, project or pie? What if you add to the holiday decorations around your home by placing colorful sticky notes here and there with this gentle reminder: "BREATHE"
If you're anything like me, you tend to actually stop and take a deep breath when you read the word. Enjoying just two or three nice deep breaths will give you a refreshing pause, send much needed oxygen to your brain and rejuvenate you!

Here's my completed holiday mandala. I hope you enjoy creating one of your own this season. Here's to jumpstarting your holiday happiness!

All the best from my Creative Oasis™ to yours,

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