December is a really busy time for me, not only do I celebrate my own birthday (HipHip Horay) it's one of those month's where it feels like pretty much everyone else I'm related to has a birthday. And, with the festive period drawing near its hard to escape the reams of wrapping paper, online shopping notifications and the race to get the last parking space in a busy shopping centre.
For many people Christmas and Birthday purchases can be mega stressful. Worrying about getting the right gift, worrying about spending too much money, attempting to remember if you have already purchased the very same present the year before ( I did this - in fact I bought the same book 3 years running for someone!). It's too easy to allow the month to rush by in a blur of consumerism and leave you with nothing but exhaustion, confusion and an empty wallet.
So today I am encouraging people to make December a gifting season for a different reason. For those of you purchasing gifts for others, give them the gift of time, it will benefit you too. Spend time together, make plans for future adventures, it does not have to cost a bomb!
Make December a month to gift yourself too. Be in the moment and enjoy what time and The present can mean and make for you.
Being present transcends you from habits that lead to problem behaviours outside of the here and now. Do you normally get caught up into a fictional future anxious about what is going to happen if you do/don't do the thing you should/shouldn't do? Or perhaps you feel upset or guilty, when you look back on something you did/didn't do re-writing the script in your head to make the memory appear less painful or uncomfortable caught up in a past?
Let The Present be your present
In gifting everyone else, remember to gift yourself.
Here are some JKChangeWork Top Tips to gifting your present:
1. Tap into your senses - how often do you really focus in on one of your senses in an activity or task you might do every day? Notice how you experience touch, taste or smell or even sight, practice for just 30 seconds a few times a day/week and notice how your senses are organically more switched on over time.
2. Improve your sleep. Most people tell me they are not getting enough sleep, their sleep in disrupted or they lost there routine. If this is the case for you, use these dark December nights to reform your sleep routine and cozy on into a happier and healthier sleep pattern. (tune in next week for a blog all about sleep)
3. Eat the right food at the right time. Whatever your budget, use #1 to consider the food you eat and the time you give yourself to eat it.
4. Exercise - whether you are a total gym bunny or you just grimaced at this suggestion. Exercise releases so many good hormones and stimulates the brain to feel and be awesome. If this means dancing to Wham - Last Christmas in the kitchen, get it done!
5. Notice and be with nature. For me nature is always a winner, I could easily lose a few hours walking in some woods. I know its cold so embrace achieving #1 in being outdoors (and if you really are opposed to this one embrace a documentary about nature and tick off #6 at the same time)
6. Be curious to learning - find something you didn't know, whether you read it or ask a friend to tell you there most random interesting fact. It's amazing how learning something new can improve happiness and motivation - in feeling great!
7. Step away from the social media. Even if its just for an extra half hour a day. you will reap the benefits over the next month!
All of these tips enable you to develop the way you experience the world and use your time. Make December the start of a new routine of well being and self-care, why wait until January?
Many of my clients come to sessions to learn and develop skills to a more permanent presence, learning and adapting resources, techniques and changing habits to leave a happier presence. This could be you too.
Happy December, You are wonderful . Peace and Presence x