Cleaning Up for the Holidays

I’ve been reading Queercents, a financial management blog focused on the LGBT community. But most of the stuff they post isn’t particularly queer – it’s just smart. I started reading this summer when they had a great series on stretching your food dollar – I’m trying to eat fresh and local, and that is a costly endeavor at times – but have kept with it because it’s a group of smart, funny, and thoughtful writers taking on relevant topics.

There has been a series running this month called “Survive and Thrive in the Holiday Season” on keeping sane through the holiday season, how to ensure that your choices match your values, and keeping it all in perspective. The whole series is worth a read if you feel you’re losing your mind (though it might be late for some of the planning and budgeting tips), but yesterday’s installment gives a summary on how to stay cool and stress free. My faves after the jump. Just remember to focus on what you care about most, and spend your time, money, and energy on that.

Paula’s Tips to Keeping Cool:
Navigate the Season with Curiosity

You know how kids are so wide-eyed with the spirit of magic at this time? That is because they naturally have a beginner’s mind and see everything through fresh eyes. No matter your age you too can choose to be curious rather than curmudgeon. Rather than feeling like you know how everything has to be, just allow it to unfold. If you think you already know someone (especially family) allow them to be who they are but be curious about it. Like “Hmmmm I wonder how Aunt Sally got to be so stuck in the past” rather than “That damn Aunt Sally of mine never talks about anything that happened after 1943″. I guarantee if you choose to go about your activities with curiosity it will feel lighter and you open yourself to far more possibilities.

Rest and Create Space

Get plenty of rest and create space in your schedule to just BE. When you’re rushed and tired you are automatically more stressed. Pad your schedule so you can get a proper amount of sleep, have plenty of time to get where you need to be, and don’t feel like a slave to the clock. Your body AND those you are visiting will thank you for it.

Give Yourself Permission to Enjoy

Above all give yourself permission to just enjoy whatever you’re doing at the moment. Nothing “has” to be a certain way. Cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to enjoy the experience. It’ll not only make the holidays more fun, but it’ll set you up for a fresh start to the New Year rather than feeling like you just got hit by a bus.

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