Year-round, women have to juggle a lot: job, house, kids, dinner, remembering to buy toilet paper, you get the idea. There is constant pressure from all sides telling us what our lives should look like, and the holiday season cranks that tiny inner critic’s voice to eleven. It’s easy to lose your footing with an additional workload of playing Santa for your household or close circle of friends. Staying grounded is always hard for me, but gets harder with the added responsibilities of gifting, potlucks, and my social calendar every December.
The obvious element of cultivating a sense of gratitude is not taking the good stuff in life for granted. Of course, we are thankful for the house we live in even if it’s not in the school district we wanted. We are thankful for our kids growing into responsible, successful adults. Thankful for our health, the food on our table, warm coats and good friends. Gratitude comes into the equation when you are still grateful for your house even if it is where your spouse died. Even if it burns down. Thankfulness is easy, gratitude takes practice.
With all the shopping, baking, and visiting, the holidays can seem like they’re over before they even began. In the liminal period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when time has time to catch up with me, it always feels like Thanksgiving was last week. So it’s nice at this point in the year before the timeline ramps up to be mindful and create a little headspace for the giving spirit rather than the get through it spirit. Mindfulness rarely looks like a blissful looking person in seated meditation in a sun-filled room on a cozy pillow. Mindfulness in real-life boils down to finding stillness and connection in the midst of hurry and chaos, a helpful tidbit for what is to come next month.
Wow, it’s November already…?! I’ve been so pleased by this beautiful, balmy autumn. Then I woke up on November 1st to snow on my car and a radiator-heated apartment that also did not know it is almost winter and I could almost feel my teeth clench and the to-do list start to knit together in the back of my mind: start baking list, make baking shopping list, wrapping paper inventory, holiday dinners schedule… The holidays are upon us ladies and gents, and while I absolutely love Christmas with an obnoxious childhood glee, it also carries with it the longest to-do list and succession of late nights I see the whole year.
Recently I got a CBD pedicure at Sacred Hour Lakewood, and as I was getting ready to head out the door, I made a quick note to myself of all the things I was getting together: sandals, book, phone on silent, etc. Being in the wellness industry, it’s easy to prepare since I know what needs I will have. But for many who don’t spend half their life in a spa, it’s kind of a mystery what to expect once you walk in the front door, and by extension how to make the best of the time you set aside for good old fashioned R&R. As someone who works and plays at the spa, I’m well-positioned to put together a quick list of things to bring/what to expect to make your time restorative rather than stressful.