calm heart

The rush of the holiday season can get the best of us and we can find ourselves caught up in the busyness. Slow down, take a breath, and calm your heart in order to enjoy the season and the people around you. Here are 4 ways you can calm your heart amidst the rush this season:

1. Find peace in the quiet moment.

One of my favourite Christmas memories from my childhood was in the early hours of Christmas morning. When the gifts were under the tree and everyone in my family was still fast asleep, I would creep downstairs to the Christmas tree and enjoy the glow of the tree lights in the dark. There was something magical about the glistening lights and the beautifully wrapped gifts. And I loved savoring the peaceful moment in the wee hours of the morning.

2. Experience joy in the contagious excitement.

I’m the oldest in a family of four kids, and so once the younger kids were awake the house filled with delighted squeals. Everyone raced downstairs to spend some family time around the tree and exchange some gifts. My mom is a talented pianist and played Christmas carols while we sang. It was loud and excited and wonderful. And since I’d already soaked in my quiet moment, then I also reveled in the boisterous buzz of Christmas morning. Take joy in these moments.

3. Less is more.

The Christmas morning scene I described above can happen with 4 gifts under the tree rather than 40. We really don’t need to get caught up in buying more and more. We can be thoughtful about gift-giving, set expectations around the number of gifts, and find contentment in less. Our family sets expectations around gifts by having 3 gifts under the tree for each child. The 3 gifts are something they want, something they need, and an experience. This has worked really well for us and is becoming a nice family tradition. We can choose to worry less about stuff and enjoy life surrounded by loved ones this Christmas.

4. Soak in the moment.

I’ll share a story with you that has made a lasting impact for me on many special days. In the days leading up to our wedding, my husband and I received a beautiful piece of advice that we now pass on to other couples. At some point during the exciting day, find a time to stop and soak in the moment.

We took this advice seriously and at one point during the reception my husband took my hand and led me outside for a private moment. The photographer tried to follow, and we politely declined. We stood outside together and simply took a moment to be thankful, content, happy and amazed at the day. It was a memory for just the two of us to cherish. Some things about that day are a blur in my memory, but I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Every wonderful second of it.

This can be applied to many events in life and times of the year. For a few minutes during Christmas day or the excitement of the season, take a moment to stop. Whatever is happening, take a minute to pause and just soak in the moment.

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