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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

“Feeling” Versus “Doing” the Holidays: A Recipe for Joy & Laughter

Dec 11, 2015 03:21PM ● By Kathy Keh

For most of us, the holiday season is ideally a time we set aside for ourselves to gather with family and friends, to show appreciation for one another, to love, laugh and give thanks for our blessings—to embrace the holiday spirit for which this occasion was intended. That being said, how many of us truly get to “feel” much during the holidays when we “do” so much to make them come together?

            Most of us experience stress and anxiety, “doing” all everything we deem necessary in for the perfect holiday season. We shop, cook, clean, prepare, over-spend and over-obligate. Ultimately, we deplete ourselves on so many levels that we feel drained, overwhelmed and downright frantic. During this busy time, it can seem impossible to find enough time to “do” the day’s activities, so our own self-care regimen disappears into the background. This makes for a season that inevitably ends with relief, rather than longing until another year passes, and we repeat the process all over again.

            One key to changing this pattern is forcing ourselves to take a “time-out.” Regardless of how we easily rationalize this away, pausing and refocusing on our own needs can help us become genuinely present, connected to the holiday spirit and willing to express affection and appreciation toward our loved ones. This may feel impossible to do, but it’s worth taking a try and seeing if the benefits are worthwhile.


            Below are a few suggestions that may be helpful in “feeling” the holidays versus just “doing” them. Start out slow and in small bursts of time. If you believe the effort is paying off, then gradually increase to larger time chunks for even more self-care which will ultimately benefit those around you as well.


·         Take five-minute “time-outs” to sit comfortably, be quiet, breathe and listen to the sounds around you. This can be done at home, your office or in the car.

·         Walk on the beach, or in a favorite natural setting, and appreciate the beauty of your environment. Take time to carefully examine something that catches your eye and at and appreciate its intricate details.

·         Spend an evening trying a calming activity, like meditation or an art class, which will take your mind off of that to-do list and be present and help you connect with what you’re feeling—the part of you that is filled with creative expression.

·         Make gifts for people, rather than buying them. These special tokens come from the heart, and your loved ones will appreciate the effort, sincerity and personal touches you included in their one-of-a-kind present.


Kathy Keh is the owner of Bright Life, an award-winning gift shop and education center and Natural Awakenings’ 2014 winner for “Favorite Business of the Year.” Bright Life is located at 2135 Siesta Dr., Sarasota. Keh is also a Master Practitioner of Classical Feng Shui and an Aura-Soma Chakra Balancing Practitioner. For more information, visit

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