Now that we have moved into November we are rapidly approaching the holiday season. With it will come gatherings of family and friends. Many people will travel both near and far. Shopping will increase traffic on the road and lines inside stores. All of these situations increase the risk that we will experience some level of frustration associated with this season. It will tempt us to lose our cool and get stressed out.
The holidays would seem to be a time for enjoyment and reflection, but too often they become a source of conflict and stress. Dealing with the crush of people and responsibilities during the end of the year can leave us dealing with blame, annoyance, and discord.
How is it that we can remain sane to enjoy the holiday season amidst the chaos? I contend that we must maintain our own level of peace. An outward display of peace comes after we have peace internally. Here are four suggestions to help us settle our mind and gain a measure of peace.
- Decide to take the back seat. Or, in other words, prefer others. Thinking of ourselves less will help us become more aware of the needs around us. By serving others we take our mind off of our own problems. Make a conscious and concerted effort to not make everything all about our needs and wants – that is a sure-fire recipe for disappointment.
- Stay thankful. When we find ourselves in a difficult moment, we should stop and find something to be thankful for no matter how small. Focus on what we do have instead of our deficiency. This adjustment reframes our thinking and causes us to view a situation from a different perspective. It is easy to become entitled to the things for which we used to be thankful.
- Give others freedom. The reality of life is that we cannot control everything. We must allow people the freedom to make their own decisions. We just need to make sure not to allow other people’s choices to steal our joy. Make a determination not to let the resulting circumstances control our thoughts and emotions.
- Be a blessing. It is natural to respond in the same manner we are treated. When treated poorly, it is easy to respond with vindictive anger. Let’s choose differently! Pick an action that the other party is not expecting and wow them with our kindness. We cannot control how others respond to us, but by offering them grace we can change the situation.
For everyone the end of the year ushers in the holiday season. For many people it brings with it all sorts of complications for life. Maintaining our sanity requires us to be intentional about not being swept away by the emotions that arrive with the rest of the festivities. My prayer is that the four ideas above will help prepare each of us to experience some peace during the last two months of this year.
Question: What suggestions do you have for maintaining your peace in stressful seasons? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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