On a video interview this week, I was interviewed by friend and colleague, the lovely Kylie Ryan. Kylie founded My Mind Coach and is one of Australia’s leading coaches in weight loss, health and wellness. Kylie came to me as a client recently after finding herself yelling at her child. This was Kylie before and after the session.

When Kylie asked what advice I have for busy parents coming into the holiday season my response was quick and meaningful and it’s the one piece of advice I would like to share with you for these holidays…

DO less and FEEL more.

It’s an odd thing to say and yet it makes a profound difference to our experience of the holidays and everyday life.

Do you have a party or several to attend? Do you still have gifts to buy for the kids? Are you finishing things off at work ahead of the holidays? Do you have to organise and shop for food? Are you squeezing in catch ups with friends?

Each one of these is a thing to DO.

How will you BE when you attend to each of these things on your list?

Will you be:

  • Appreciative
  • Peaceful
  • Loving
  • Grateful
  • Still
  • Forgiving
  • Thoughtful

Research carried out by UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Centre found regularly expressing gratitude literally changes the molecular structure of the brain and makes us healthier and happier.

Life is about feeling. Fundamentally, each of us are chasing a feeling in any given moment…

Think about what happens when you see your child open presents. The look on their face makes you feel: joy, love, excitement or [insert your feeling here].

And what about catching up with friends – what’s the feeling you feel? Belonging, cared for, connection or [insert your feeling here].

It’s always the feeling that we want.

When we focus on the FEELING more than needing to DO more to get the feeling, this can look like this:

  • Giving yourself permission to watch the kids play
  • Taking a moment to feel gratitude for the work you’ve accomplished this year
  • Appreciating the creative minds that created those products you see around you when walking around shops.
  • Connecting more deeply with a friend or two at a group catch up.
  • Enjoying a few moments of stillness in the chaos of preparing to host an event.

And if you find yourself worrying about not getting things done, take this sage advice from Maya Angelou, one the greatest poets of our time:

Here’s to your doing less and feeling more these holidays.