3 Ways to Keep Calm on Christmas (and every other holiday!)

how to keep calm on Christmas and other holidays

 

Hello friends!

The holidays are upon us! Merry Christmas eve to those of you celebrating! I know that the holidays can be a stressful time for many of us, despite our best intentions. It’s easy to get carried away by the high energy of these special occasion days and find ourselves feeling stressed out, crazed, and overwhelmed.

I don’t want that to happen to you this year, so I am sharing my 3 best tips for keeping calm on Christmas, and every other holiday!

1) Start the morning off right

It’s easy to start the holidays by jumping out of bed and tackling your holiday to-do list. Now, I understand that you have a lot of things to get done. Some of you may be hosting large family gatherings. Others have children who are itching to wake up at the crack of dawn to open presents. These are all beautiful things, and part of the holiday experience. But, when you start your day on someone else’s agenda, it’s easy to fall into the stress trap.

Try to take just a few moments to create a mindful morning. Sip your coffee in peace while looking at your beautifully lit Christmas tree. Take a few minutes to do a little yoga or meditate. Go for a quick walk around the block. These simple activities do not take very long and they will help you start the holiday feeling calm and tuned into yourself. From this place of peace, you are better capable of enjoying the busy day ahead!

2) Take a time out

Find quick and easy ways to take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle so that you can tune back into yourself and restore your inner peace. Go to the bathroom to meditate. Step into a spare room to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Step outside for some fresh air. Mix a little quiet time with the busy-ness of the day. This will help you feel more grounded and centered.

Another effortless way to do this, is to stash your favorite essential oils or stones in your pocket or handbag as an easy way to bring a little Zen into your holiday experience. I personally always carry little seashells and beach rocks in the pockets of all my coats. The beach is my happy place, and now whenever I reach into my pockets I’m reminded to slow down, breathe, and ride things out, just like I do when I’m at the beach. 🙂

3) Focus on Connection not Perfection

A lot of us turn into perfectionists during the holidays. It’s easy to want to be the perfect hostess, buy the perfect gifts, wear the perfect outfit, have our kids behave perfectly. This is exhausting and leads to stress! Plus, it’s impossible to be perfect, and a lot of these things are actually out of our control, so we might as well give up this quest for perfection now.

Instead, focus on connecting with the people you are with. Put away your phone and have meaningful conversations. Look into people’s eyes. Ask them about themselves. Talk about what’s important to you. Focus on the love you have for the people around you. Create a real connection, one that you can feel. This is the real meaning of the holidays. Instead of focusing on things being perfect, focus on what really matters; love and connection.

Wishing you a calm and happy holiday! May your days be merry and bright, my friends!

Be well,
Ambar

 

3 Ways to Be a Meaningful Gift Giver

how to be a meaningful gift giverWith the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to gift giving. Gift giving is often thought of as a way of showing our love and appreciation for others. However, it can be easy to cross the line from thoughtful to stressful, when we are overspending and overdoing it with gifts. So, I wanted to share 3 simple ways to give meaningful gifts to everyone on your list!

  1. 1) Make them feel seen

The best gifts are the ones where our loved ones can tell that we put some time and effort into seeing them for who they are. Gifts that make someone feel seen are often the most meaningful. For example, my husband is a runner, so I usually get him some type of running gear each Christmas. This year, he is planning on training for a marathon. I’ve seen him go through these trainings before and know how strenuous it can be, so I’m thinking of buying him a massage package that he can use after his long runs. I am hoping that this gift will make him feel seen and appreciated. What hobbies, interests, habits, and routines do you notice about your loved ones? How can you use these to get them a gift that makes them feel seen for their own unique ways?

2) Make them feel heard

Another way to purchase meaningful gifts, is to focus on what your loved ones are saying and asking for, and then purchasing accordingly. For example, my 2.5 year old daughter has been asking for these little toys called Calico Critters. Every time the commercials come on she says how much she loves them, and whenever we ask her what she wants for Christmas, that’s the first thing she says. Now, if I were to ignore what she is saying and instead buy her a doll for Christmas, I’m sure that she would love the doll, but chances are that she would still be asking for her Calico Critters…. 2 year olds can be relentless that way! Ha! But really, can’t we all? Don’t we all like to know that our wishes are validated and that we are worthy of what we most desire? Take some time to listen to what your loved ones are asking for, and then get them gifts that make them feel heard.

3) Whenever possible, choose PRESENCE over PRESENTS

The best gift of all is always the gift of time and attention. When I think back on past holidays, I find that what I remember most are certain moments– watching my mom create an elaborate nativity scene as a child, watching Daria and Beavis and Butthead marathons with my sister and cousins on Christmas Eve when I was in middle school, spending the holidays in Miami Beach the year I turned 20, taking a walk to the beach with my little family on June’s first Christmas… these moments are what make a holiday memorable, not the presents that I received. I’m willing to bet that the same is true for you. So, it makes sense that we should focus our efforts on being present with our loved ones and creating memories that will last long after the presents are gone. What can you do to create special memories with your loved ones? How can you be fully present for the people you love?

I hope that you found these 3 tips helpful! I would love to know which of these you’ll be incorporating into your own gift giving this year! Please share in the comments below.

Happy gifting!

Be well,
Ambar