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The Perfect Time to Slow Down

With the holidays upon us the pressure of everything from entertaining, cooking, shopping decorating, and whatever other things you feel you need to do, builds. Eventually this pressure needs to release and let out the steam. As do we.

My husband and I decided to invest in an electric power pressure cooker. I wanted to make a roast for family that was visiting and thought it would be a great tool. We ended up cutting our meat in half making it actually two pieces of a smaller cut. This changed the cooking time, but we did not think to adjust the time. As the cook time came to completion and we released the pressure valve, the steam shot out. We were so excited to see what we had created. We learned, however, that the meat had over cooked due to it sitting too long in that pressure.

Do you sometimes feel over done? Do life’s pressures build for too long?

You can create a pressure valve in your own life that you can open and release before it is too late and you have reached your max. This can simply be done by creating moments of pause throughout the day.

Find times in your day when you can pause for even a few minutes. This could happen in the morning when you wake, as your sitting at a traffic light, when you sit down for a meal, or at bedtime. You might meditate, breathe, say a prayer, or talk with others. The ideas are limited to what you can come up with, so think of some things. Ask what others do. Get more ideas. Try them out.

This is great with young kids, too. Kids feel a lot more pressures in their day then we do and they need these moments of pause incorporated into their daily routines to release some of the pressure that builds for them. Think of rituals. What could you do as a family to create pause? Try sharing a prayer or lighting a candle before meal time. Talk at dinner about your day. Rest in the middle of the day with a book or just quiet time. Stretch together in the morning or before bed. Light a candle before bed then blow it out signifying lights out. Take a daily walk together. All these ideas can be applied to the family with or without kids.

Slow down your daily activities. It seems that this becomes such a busy time of year, yet the days feel shorter. The winter time can be about slowing down and resting. Keeping yourselves strong for the colder months. Going to bed earlier.

Turn holiday shopping into a family event. Everyone helping out and keeping things simple can reduce some of the pressure. In my experiences, I found that over the years, gift cards have been the most purchased gift. Take the time to think of something unique for that person instead of a gift card. Make it special. Bring meaning to the joy of gift giving. As a family come up with some ideas. Remember…less is more, especially when it comes to holidays with kids.

You may feel the pressure to buy lots of toys for the kids, but ask yourself first, what is that about? Where is that coming from? What need are you trying to fulfill for yourself? You can learn more about yourself during this time, too. Also, it is important to note that too many toys can distract a child from their play. Kids need to play and if they have too much stuff, they will most likely not stay in their play or their creative state. So, no need to go overboard.

Implementing the moments of pause in the day so that you and your family can connect is worth a whole lot more than any material gift.

So, if you feel the pressure building this holiday season, take the time to implement moments in the day where you can release pressure. Do this for your family, too. You will feel the benefits of slowing down and simplifying during this time.

Each night before you go to sleep, review in your mind or in a journal why it is important to slow down this season. Remind yourself of all the benefits and this will help you to stay with your goal.

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