Mindful Moments with Brenda Strausz: Creating a Low Stress, Joy-Filled Holiday: It Is In Your Hands

If it is to be, it is up to me! — William H. Johnsen

Each December people seem more and more stressed by the upcoming holidays. Planning parties, having the right outfits, shopping for gifts, overindulgence in sweet foods and alcohol and family tensions add up to neglecting your own physical and mental health.

It is disheartening because the true meaning of the holidays is really about celebrating LOVE. When we are feeling empty, tired and cranky, it seems LOVE gets put on the back burner.

In light of this, I hope you enjoy some tips for creating a holiday of peace and joy and love:


Ask yourself every day, “What can I do today to nurture my body, mind and soul?” Putting yourself first on your list this holiday season with ensure a healthier and more joyful holiday.

Incorporate mindfulness into your life. Instead of rushing around, make a conscious effort to really take time to be in the moment as you enjoy the merriment, the decorations, the people and the delicious foods of the season.

Watch your thoughts. When you catch yourself feeling offended, thinking negatively or making assumptions remind yourself that these thoughts are not serving you. A mantra like, “I am living this moment in peace and love and joy and nothing can alter my peace of mind, “ will easily bring you a sense of calm.

Take time for gratitude. Gratitude will expand your heart and increase your awareness of the many blessings in your life that you may take for granted.

When you say “no”, it often means saying “yes” to something better. Think of how good your body and mind feel when you say “no” to eating that whole sweet gooey dessert and “yes” to just a small taste. Or what about saying “no” to one party this year and “yes” to having more time just to be.

Don’t forget to breathe. When the tension gets too much take some time to take three deep cleansing breaths to renew and refresh yourself. Never underestimate the power of the breath.

Enjoying holiday festivities

Visualize. Before you go to your holiday gatherings visualize the home or event filled with love. Visualize how wonderful it will be to give and receive love. You will be surprised how the energy of the visualization can become a reality.

Be curious. Go to the parties with a genuine curiosity about the guests. Even loved ones you have known for a long time will light up when they feel your interest and concern for them.

See everyone through the eyes of love. Even the people who bug you the most are fighting their own private battles. Taking time to silently bless them will greatly expand your heart and theirs.

The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

Worry less about what you buy for people and more about how you treat them. The joy of a gift lasts only so long. But the joy of love and friendship lasts forever.

Give experiences as gifts. So many of us don’t need another “thing” to clutter up our lives. But how about play tickets, movie tickets, gift certificates to a new restaurant? This not only makes your shopping easier but will give the recipient something to look forward to.

Receive gifts with gratitude. No matter what the gift make sure that you focus on love that came with the gift instead of the present itself. Let the giver know how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

Brenda Strausz is a holistic psychotherapist who practices in the Metro Detroit area. She specializes in blending traditional and alternative techniques to help you to live with more peace, joy and freedom. She can be contacted through her website at: www.BrendaStrausz.com or dearbrenn@aol.com

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  1. Brenda, this is fantastic. I need to post it on the frig, the bathroom mirror, my computer, etc.! Thank you.

  2. Thanks for this nice post!

  3. Interesting article. In addition- I was searching for your RSS feed or mail subscription. Do you have any?

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