The special time of the year of many happenings is upon us. Depending on your spiritual or none background, these last two-weeks of the year may be interpreted in different ways. Some of us[after some intense shopping days--please don't tell me you're not done with it--yikes! better get to it] will be huddling by the Christmas Tree with warm drinks and your favorite people. Others will be engaged with Hannukkah festivities, reciting blessings, playing games and eating latkes in company of your loved ones. And others, will be just enjoying some very well deserved time-off and even creating some family and friend get-togetherness, if not sharing-in with your neighboring friends and family spiritual festivities and their delicious offerings. Oh, and yes! you 25 year olds, perhaps some down - straight partying--creating a whole other holiday of its own--enjoy young blood!
Either way, some have the practice of taking some extra days off from work prior to the holidays. My suggestion during this bit of time-off? Take the opportunity to care for the self[and, by that I don't mean more shopping--ok, maybe if you haven't treated yourself], refocus your relationships, the mind, heart, body and depending what time calender you're following, re-evaluate your spiritual and worldly goals. After all, it all starts with ourselves. Right? Aside the festive work, friend-invite parties and sledding activities, I have lined-up some ideas to get you warmed-up inside and hopefully be a fresher 'you' upon your return to the daily life.
1. It's all about perspective! Yes, how we see things is a major denominator on the energy we get from life. Start by changing it. Let bygones, be actual bygones or at least let the process start. Add a bit of extra optimism to your views. Engage into a more wider view of life.
2. Take an extra day off work if you can. If you don't have children yet, you got it good for the most part! So you can skip the rest of this paragraph and go to number 3. For the women with children, a day off is almost non-existent[home life for both partners is a never-ending work day, but of course with reaping benefits]. Work with your partner, baby-sitter[remember other people are off from work too] or lock yourself in the bathroom--just kidding, make sure you set aside at least part of that work day off to yourself.
3. What to do with an extra day off from work? The options are multiple depending on what you like to do. Definitely stay away from the mall. Take that work-out or painting class you have been wanting to do, schedule a facial, massage, meet another friend for coffee or tea. Here is an idea---make your favorite warm drink, grab a girlfriend or solo is cool and make special handcrafted cards to send to your top five people.
4. Focus on your spirituality. Some of us will be doing that already during this time while for others this extra time-off will be giving you more time to focus on nourishing your spirituality and work on extra worship. An idea is attending a spiritual retreat.
5. Start reading a Winter novel. Set aside a few minutes a day, get some handcrafted chocolate, hot tea, light a scented candle and dwell the mind into a story.
6. Goal planning. Depending on what calender you follow. Goal setting starts now, not the 1st day of the year. For those following for example the lunar calender, it's a good time to perhaps review your current goals and do a self-evaluation.
7. Make girlfriend time. I'm sure you don't have to be told twice on this. I sure don't! Start scheduling some coffee/tea dates with friends to rekindle your friendships. If distance is the issue, look into sending a special friendship card with nice thoughts or making some time to call them. You get the picture!
8. Oh family! Yes, they too will be getting some time from you even the ones you are trying to stay away from. Chances are you will only see them again a few times a year so make your conversations warm and meaningful. Stay away from gossip as much as you can.
9. Invest time in volunteering at shelters, soup kitchens, senior citizen homes and the like. Believe it or not, there are others out there in more need then you.
10. Movies. I have to say New York has the best subway adverts for this[don't mean to make you jealous]. This is a double whammy! You not only get to enjoy time with the family but with yourself too.
11. Just a take a vacation to a whole other country and truly add character to your perspective.
12. If all fails, remember that you are never too old to make a blanket tealight fort!