Count Your Blessings This Holiday

Words of Wellness

By Jill Fratto, Life and Health Coach

It’s that time of year to take a deep breath and count our blessings. The problem is, we get so buried in pre-holiday tasks, we forget to even think about what’s really important to us. Everyone that I talk to about Christmas says it crept up on them this year. As a result, the days before Christmas look more like a long TO DO list than a Norman Rockwell painting.
Some things have to get done, but others can be let go. It’s time to think about what’s really important and let the people around us know how much they mean to us. When my list gets long and I start to feel overwhelmed, I go in and CUT it. You can divide your list into three columns:
1. What really needs to be done? These items are non-negotiable and will cause you more stress if you DON’T do them. Be honest with yourself though. Make sure it really is essential and not just something you are telling yourself must be done. I am pretty good at thinking this list is longer than it really is –until I run out of time and realize some of it can go.
2. What will take care of itself? Some things will magically take care of themselves. It may sound silly, but if it CAN get done without you, put it in this column. These are things that could be done by someone else or maybe can wait until a time when you aren’t so crunched for time. Maybe you need to call someone or pay a bill, but suddenly they call you instead.
3. What is a “would be nice” item? These are things that sounded lovely back in November, but are causing nothing but stress now. Put them in a third column for if you have time left over (yeah, right?) or strike them completely and don’t feel guilty about it. You are going to use the time you save to focus on people and activities you value.
With your new list, you can focus only on what must be done and use the time you save to do special things like stop and have a visit with a friend or make cookies or hot chocolate with your child or grandchild. These are the memories we take with us and the blessings for which we are grateful. Focus only on those as we all know life is short and unpredictable.
This holiday season, take time to show the ones you love how important they are to you. That gift will last longer than anything you buy at the mall. Wishing you a peaceful, healthy, and abundant Christmas and New Year!

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