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The Gift of Being Present

Are you enjoying this holiday season? Are you taking time to look around, see the lights and decorations? Are you being thoughtful in your gift buying? Are you taking care of yourself?

Or are you totally stressed? End of the year holiday shopping and family expectations are enough to manage without adding on work stress. That’s a formula for disaster. So many people dread this time of year. In midlife that stress takes its toll far more than on your younger self. This can be a joyous time of year.

The Gift of Being Present

You can choose to spend your time and energy on what brings you joy. You can make decisions based on what you want instead of what others want. I know it’s a challenge but what better time to start than during this holiday season.

Honoring yourself is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to others. Your life will be far richer when you stop to enjoy it!

Action: Take these actions right now so can you can experience a joyous holiday season.

  1. Eliminate your energy drainers and your stressors. Make a quick list of your current most immediate tasks that have filled your plate. Sometimes just the act of writing a list makes it more manageable – something more tangible that you can tackle. What is distracting you from enjoying this season? List work and personal tasks.
  2. Check your emotional health. What are you feeling while looking at the list? Now, breathe deeply. Fill your lungs. Let it out slowly. Look at your list again. What can be put off until next year? What can quickly be done? What can be done by others? Prioritize the rest and do them.
  3. Add more joy. Put yourself at the top of your priority list. Slow down. You’re under control. Keep breathing. Be aware of your surroundings. Be present in your environment. Reawaken your feelings – let the good ones come in. Think about what you really want to do. Be sure it includes taking care of yourself. Have fun. Laugh, let those endorphins flow. Feel good again.

Give yourself the gift of being present this season. Slow down, take time for your life.

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

Diane, The Midlife Woman’s Career Coach

Diane Howell Topkis is the author of 26 Keys to Unlocking Career Change Success for Midlife Women, the first in her Career Clarity series. Diane works with midlife women to gain the clarity and confidence to reinvent or re-energize their career into meaningful work for their next chapter. See more at

Diane Howell Topkis

Diane Howell Topkis, The Midlife Woman’s Career Coach, helps women gain the clarity and confidence to reinvent or re-energize their career into meaningful work for their next chapter. Her clients have successfully discovered new possibilities and developed new levels of personal and professional success. The first book in her Career Clarity ebook series reached #1 in Amazon's Women&Business and Self Help-Midlife categories. Watch for her next book, out soon. Diane lived the life of a slowly boiled frog for 30+ years in sales and marketing before she found the clarity to move to coaching. Now her very rewarding career brings a deep sense of peace, freedom, joy, and fulfillment.

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Saturday 13th of December 2014

I've often been trapped by disappointments of Christmas past. Not disappointed in presents or not so perfect cookies or decorations gone awry. Rather, I find that my relationship disappointments seem to rear their ugly heads over the holidays. I know this is sadness over unmet expectations, but sometimes it's difficult to rationalize these feelings away.

Marquita Herald

Friday 12th of December 2014

Well said Diane. I'll tell you something funny, I wrote a book about how to have a "stress-less, more enjoyable" holiday season and so many people have commented that they don't experience stress during the holiday I was beginning to think I had imagined all those frowns and stressed out folks at the mall and posting holiday stress jokes online. :-)


Friday 12th of December 2014

The pressure to 'measure up' is fierce this time of year. So I agree that it's important to get grounded and stay present. I find that if I can stay in that zone instead of getting caught up in the comparison trap and the impulse to 'do more & do it better', not only do I feel happier but the people around me are free to enjoy too because I'm not venting toxic energy. None of us are perfect at achieving this in every moment, but it's a worthy intention to be aware of and choose throughout the day. Thanks Diane!

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