Clear Yourself for Some Stress-Free Holidays

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Love it or loathe it, we’re sure you’ve heard of Black Friday. It’s a day that has become synonymous with big deals at big box stores and big crowds, which often lead to big headaches. Originating in 1950’s Philadelphia, it seems that Black Friday is here to stay. We’ll share some Black Friday tips and tricks with you next week.

But for now, take a deep cleansing breath as we introduce you to a new idea for a Friday in November.

Picture this. It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving and all the stressful thoughts are bubbling up to the surface.

  • “My house isn’t big enough to host Thanksgiving.”
  • “What if people don’t like the food I’m serving?”
  • “I have nothing to wear to my in-laws’ house.”
  • “I wanted to have Christmas shopping done and I haven’t even started.”
  • “There’s no way I have time to check everything off this list.”
  • “My house is a mess.”

Okay, now stop! None of this is productive, healthy, or helpful. What we’re proposing here is hitting a giant “PAUSE” button while you re-center and re-balance.

How about dedicating the Friday before Thanksgiving—this year, November 22—to clearing your mind, clearing out the clutter and negativity, and giving yourself a clean slate heading into the holidays.

Here are a few simple ways you could spend the day (or at least part of it):

  1. Clear out your closets. What items have you not worn this year? What could you donate to charity? What things can you find and wear again? Cleaning and decluttering is powerful. You may not think you have time for it, but set aside just one hour and see how freeing it can be.
  2. Clear your mind. Find a guided meditation online or just sit in a quiet room for a predetermined amount of time. Choose to focus on gratitude. Banish negative thoughts that pop up. Think about what is weighing you down and then write down goals and any ideas to clear your mind continually. Think of a daily affirmation for the holiday season, print it, and post it where you will see it every day.
  3. Clear a path to kindness. We can all use more kindness in our life, so start with yourself. How can you show more kindness every day? In honor of Fred Rogers and the new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” (which just so happens to be open in theaters on November 22), here’s something he shared about success: “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” We couldn’t agree more Mr. Rogers. Look around. What can you do for others? How can you spread positivity? What one random act of kindness can you do today to make a difference?

Now for a word of caution. Clearing your closet may lead to overwhelming or uncontrolled feelings of gratitude. While clearing your mind, you may generate spontaneous positivity which may result in bouts of laughter. If at any time while you’re adding more kindness, the corners of your mouth rise for longer than a period of two hours, please contact a loved one and tell them how much you appreciate them in your life. Other side effects may include randomly hugging people, a general feeling of fulfillment, and one or more sighs of relief.

Now, let’s turn back and re-imagine the Friday before Thanksgiving. Here are some new, positive thoughts to replace the negativity and overwhelm.

  • “I’m so happy I have a warm home to host my family.”
  • “It’s so wonderful that I can use this pumpkin pie recipe from my Grandma.”
  • “Look what I found in my closet after I cleaned it!”
  • “I’ll have time to shop, but for now I’m focused on my family.”
  • “What can I remove from my list so that I can enjoy the season?”
  • “My house feels refreshed and tidy.”

Here’s one last reminder from Mr. Rogers, “It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.” So use that non-Black Friday to recognize what you have in life, what really matters most to you, take some time to clear out the negativity, the extra “stuff,” and clear a path to kindness. We’re excited to see what else you come up with to give yourself a clean slate. Use the hashtag #NonBlackFriday to share with us.

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