holidaysStress and the Holidays–

A successful businesswoman, who is herself a mother, is returning to her family’s home to have Christmas with her grandparents and her brother and wonders how she might improve the quality of that holiday experience.

Her mother is someone who obsesses about all of the details involved in the holidays, she takes hours wrapping presents, and trying to make things perfect for all of the people who will be visiting.

Any hints that someone is unhappy, or any signs of anger or irritation, are like fingernails on a chalk board to her.  She almost literally drives herself crazy with activity and efforts to make everyone comfortable.

You may not be surprised to hear that the result of all of this is that everyone is actually very uncomfortable, but says nothing about it.

No one dares to express any dissatisfaction and yet everyone is aware that her  grandma is right on the edge of hysteria.

I love the title of a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn: Full Catastrophe Living. In the video clip below, Jon explains the origin of this title.

Mindfulness, a difficult state to enter as we become more anxious, is founded on the acceptance of the human condition, in all its imperfections and messiness.

Take a moment now to think about how you may have a holiday season in which you are more present in the moment.