Friday, November 20, 2009

Mental Chatter Holiday Style

Did you realized, in exactly one week, it will be over and just really beginning all at the same time?!

The Thanksgiving Day turkey remnants, football games and that last piece of pound cake will be finished off. The busiest travel day of the year will have come and gone. Black Friday will be winding down. And the official "holiday season" will have begun. Shopping, cleaning, preparing. And in some cases, going into stress, debt and general overload status will be alive and well.

Like many of us, the mental chatter will be in high gear, in full effect. The lists and "to do's" can all get to be much too much. So much so, it can literally drain the fun and energy out of us and all that we intend this time of year to mean for our families. We want the picture on the front of Good Housekeeping to magically appear in our livingroom. I want the picture perfect meal and table setting from Martha Stewart Living, bam! Right on my diningroom table! But the amount of primping, planning and thinking needed to make it happen...whew. I'm already pooped just thinking of it.

Times like this, where stress, media and the ideal of what we think others want to see appear in our lives...calls for peace during the storm. I use 10 minutes each morning to set my intention for a relaxed, organized and stress free day, before my feet even hit the floor. Beginning with a prayer of gratitude for restful, safe healthy sleep for myself and my loved ones. Then I visualized how I want my day to proceed and how I want to feel. I get grounded and set my intention to be purposeful, useful and positive in all I do for the day. Then I get up and move about in a way that is present and in the moment. When my mind begins to race, I take out a little notebook I keep in my purse (with a cute purple gel pen), and I list whatever seems so urgent that I can't focus on the issue at hand. Over the course of the day, I add to it, review it, prioritize the items that MUST be handled the same day, then let it go. It seems to help to get the chatter out of my head, and thus away from my present awareness.

Yesterday, I attended a presentation by a Life Coach Leslie Pogue. Her website Conversations with Myself also has a CD and some good tips. The goal is to help take things down a notch when we begin to feel overwhelmed. She reminds us to be our own best friend, self-nurture and to use the available help resources that are already accessible to us now, in order to lighten our load and relieve stress, anxiety and tension.

So, ladies, let's remember to keep a little holiday cheer for ourselves this season as we enjoy friends and family and set sights high for what we wish to bring into our lives in 2010!

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