For many, stress elevates during this time of year as already full and demanding schedules are crammed with even more tasks and events. When stress goes up, self-care tends to decline. Simple adjustments, such as a shift in one’s thinking, create significant changes and benefits.
Three keys to altering your perspective and decreasing stress:
1. Pause and breathe
2. Schedule and take time for yourself
3. Ongoing commitment to self-development
These keys are applicable to everyone and especially critical for service based professionals as we can be prone to neglecting ourselves in our dedication to serving others. One of the ways I care for myself throughout the year is to watch animated movies. I love them because they resonate with the kid at heart that I am, get me to smile or laugh and typically teach, or serve as valuable reminders… all aspects that contribute to decreasing stress.
During the holiday season I find Christmas music uplifting and really enjoy the plethora of holiday animation specials. Though unable to see all of them, I watch as many as possible and in spite of how many times I’ve already seen them.
Below are just a few of my favorites and my take-away lessons.
The Little Drummer Boy – stop comparing ourselves to others and the greatest present we can ever give is to share our gifts and talents from the Divine
Santa Clause is Coming to Town – honest self-reflection and conscious choice is required to alter who we are and how we are perceived (pivotal moment for the transformation of the Winter Warlock)
Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Christmas, Hanukah, Quanza… and dare I say life in general, is something that is felt and experienced instead of a tangible thing we buy or acquire
The Polar Express – going alone is a choice, what we believe is a choice and always relish the awe of life
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer – everything is not always as it appears and we are unable to run or escape any part of ourselves and eventually need to face and embrace all parts of ourselves
Hoops and YoYo Ruin Christmas – be willing to see the bigger picture beyond our own desires
Twas the Night Before Christmas – even miracles require our active participation and making amends is a key part of being sorry
Which one do you most need to apply?
What do you do for self-care and to manage stress? Does it vary based on the time of year?