Listen up, Dads: slow down. No, really—slow down. Waaaay, down. These are the last two weeks of the year, and whether you loved or hated 2016, there’s no sense in rushing to 2017. It will be here before you know it. For right now, just put it on cruise control at about 25 mph, even slower if you can do it.
Best done in the early morning (before you’re out of bed, or as you drift off to sleep at night). Call it prayer, intention, taking inventory, or even like the Christmas tune that encourages counting your blessings—just think about who you are and what you have. In those fleeting moments before and after slumber, your brain is open and receiving. You need to check in with it.
2. TAKE PRIDE
My best friend, who, by the way, is a rock star life coach, recently reminded me how to give myself an instant, life-affirming vacation. He shared this nugget when I was wallowing about work, politics, etc., and complaining that I have no time for myself anymore. Take pride in any and all of your accomplishments, he said, and as often as you can, even if it’s for a few seconds. Stressed out about work: pat yourself on the back for holding down a job and earning money. Kids consuming you: hug yourself for the beings you brought into this world. Taking pride, not just having gratitude, is a healthy way to re-center and send yourself on a smile tour.
3. MAKE SPACE
This cornerstone of yoga practice can easily be fit into your inner and outer world, and it’s as simple as letting go. That’s what Buddhism (and all religions, for that matter) is all about. What better time of year to let go of those things, either real or abstract, that weigh you down. This doesn’t mean ignoring negative thoughts or just donating that box of old clothes. It means asking yourself whether you truly need (FILL IN THE BLANK) in your life, then asking, “What is the healthiest way I can let go of this?” Learn from the process, then savor the space.
Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker.