It has been quite a year. As the holiday season gets underway, who among us isn't wishing for a bit more peace?
While events in society at large may be mostly outside of your control, you do largely have control over the peace within your home and heart.
Reduce ScreensBetween the computer, phone, television, and any other screen we may view on a daily basis, for most of us, the amount of inputs our brains are processing during our waking hours is excessive. Even if the inputs are all rainbows and unicorns, the constant stimuli and unnatural nature of constant digital engagement are not healthy. And, of course, it's not all rainbows and unicorns.
Step OutsideSince you’re no longer staring at a screen, lace up those shoes and head out the door for some fresh air. (Leave those earbuds at home!) Allow your five senses to take in the slow pace, simplicity, and utter beauty of the nature around you. Whatever environment you’re blessed to be surrounded by, enjoy it. Notice details. Breathe.
Eat WellMove away from artificial, processed foods and make sure you’re nourishing your body with real foods. Cook at home. Choose whole, clean ingredients. Take your time in the kitchen, and enjoy the process of making a simple cup of tea or an elaborate dinner for your family.
Connect With Loved OnesEven the most introverted introverts need connection. Pick up the phone and call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send a lovely card to a faraway relative. Share a picture with a friend from the good old days. Make an effort to get together regularly with those closest to you. Don’t wait for an invitation, make connections happen.
DeclutterThe stress that mess can induce is an interesting phenomenon. Our outer environment has an impact on our inner peace. Take time to tidy up, donate unused items, clear surfaces, and make consistent, incremental improvements to your home and work environment—and notice the peace that comes over you in the process.
Stop ProcrastinatingTasks hanging over our heads torment us until they are done. Rather than put off what can be done today until tomorrow, do it today. Sometimes we even procrastinate on the smallest of tasks, wasting more time thinking or worrying about them than it takes to complete them. Kick the habit of procrastination to feel more on top of things and more at peace.
Let Go of ResentmentsIf you’ve been harboring anger or resentment, it’s likely doing you a great deal of harm. Do the inner work necessary to be able to let go of toxic thoughts and feelings that aren’t serving you. Find forgiveness, understanding, and compassion in your heart. You can do it. You’ll be so glad you did.
ApologizeIf you are plagued with guilt about something, peace is difficult to find. It's an honorable quality to admit one’s mistakes, own up to them, not make excuses, and apologize. Find the courage and the humility you’ll need to make things right. The weight that will be lifted off your shoulders will be well worth the effort.
GiveWhat better time than the holidays, especially in a year that has been challenging to so many, to practice generosity? Check local groups on social media or contact local charities to see what needs exist. Bless people you know with acts of love or gifts they truly need. Perform random acts of kindness in your community. Donate to your favorite charity. Volunteer your most precious resource—your time.
Honor TraditionsThe holidays are also a time to honor traditions. There are bound to be special traditions your family has honored, perhaps for generations, during the holidays. Continue to share them with your children and grandchildren.
What’s more, holiday traditions are imbued with deep inner meaning. Ensure that your children know them and understand the values you’re hoping to instill in them.