Want Relaxing Holidays? Less Martha, More Mindfulness


This time of year is a mixed bag for many of us. We look forward to family togetherness, joy, love and celebration. But, too often, expectations outstrip reality and stress is the result.

If you’re like me, that doesn’t mean you don’t chase the fantasy. Earlier in my career, I did my best to create the Norman Rockwell inspired family holiday. I let Martha Stewart, the goddess of all things “perfect,” cajole me into impossible, time consuming projects. (I finally quit her when she seriously suggested growing your own grass for Easter baskets.)

Eventually, you learn to lighten up. But the dream of a White Christmas, perfect children, harmonious family celebrations, and all things magical persists.

What’s the antidote to holiday stress? Mindful awareness and acceptance of the present moment.

With mindfulness you ratchet down your expectations and enjoy the little things. You’re less likely to over plan, overspend and overdo. There is no “should” and “must.” There is only “be.”

Mindfulness and striving for Martha Stewart-perfect just don’t mix. As chef Jacques Pepin summed up “perfectly:”

“When you are at home, even if the chicken is a little burnt, what’s the big deal? Relax.” 

Wishing you a mindfully relaxing holiday season!

Survival > Existence,


Image courtesy of Annie Annie Pancake

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