It is very interesting for me to see how every year for the holiday season the world and the people in it almost seem to collapse. Everyone is running crazy and many of us are complaining about the stress linked to the weeks before Christmas.

What is really making me think is, that when you listen to Christmas songs or read about what this time is about, it all says that it´s about slowing down, about going inside – into our homes and into our hearts and souls. It is about sharing time with loved ones and about filling our homes with joy, laughter and lights while waiting for Christmas to come. But when I look at people, I get the feeling that many would prefer to skip all this in order to have less to buy, less to prepare, less expectations to serve. I think this is pretty sad, because I love decorating the house, baking cookies and listening to cheesy Christmas music.

Still, sometimes it gets too much and I just realize how hectic the day – or the past days – was, when I feel that my energy is low and I am all tired and exhausted. Yet usually I try to push pause in these hectic times before I feel drained, because I listen to my body telling me that I am going too fast. Instead of running around like crazy and getting caught up in this spiral until it is too late to stop, I stop and take some deep breaths. I look at my to-dos and take some off the list. I sit down, light a candle and have a nice cup of tea or I meditate.

This is so important, because it takes me out of the autopilot-Ihavetodoallthis-thereisstillsomuchtodo mode. If I stop and reconsider, I have the choice. Having the choice is what we sometimes forget, but we always do have a choice. And if you feel overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do, ask yourself the question: Do I HAVE to do all this? Or do I have a choice? Do I feel like I have to do all this, because of what others might think of me, if I don´t or because of my own high expectations? What happens, if I don´t do this? And what happens next? And what if nothing of this happens and no one will notice? Maybe I will even feel better, if I choose not to do this and sit down and relax instead?

Just consider this thought: maybe it will be for the best to relax and calm down instead of running around and piling up stress until you freak out? Maybe people will appreciate your good mood, calmness, joy and love a lot more than they would appreciate you being all stressed out and overwhelmed and grumpy?

The best gift you can give this season is to give love, kindness, gratitude, hugs, laughter and time. Just try it for a change. You will see that people will be touched by this and that you will feel a lot better. So, have a calm, loving, kind and merry Christmas and – BE YOUR BEST SELF!