What’s the best present you received?

What is the best present you received this year? I mean, the very best.

Is it something you requested or did someone simply make a great guess, and voila, there it is in front of you?

And what is the best gift you gave to yourself?

Think about the following the next time you are ready to give and to receive.

This year, I have been surprised, and yes, delighted to see the huge number of articles about giving meaningful gifts. 

And so many are focused on experiences over material goods. 

Remember those days when gift-giving, for any occasion, needed to include a designer symbol? If it said DKNY, Gucci, Prada, or Lauren, it either suggested you are rich, have rich friends, or you want to be seen in the company of the rich and powerful.

Not so much anymore.

The focus today is on being with people you enjoy and gathering fond memories that will last a lifetime and on the importance of self-care.

In our present world, so many feel overwhelmed, blurry-eyed, and fuzzy-headed because it seems impossible to find time to take a break and relax. 

When considering what the best present to gift yourself is to ask yourself: What do you need more of? And how can you get ‘the more’ you want and need?

The best way to answer these questions is to give yourself the gift of silence. Clarity comes more easily to a quiet mind than if there is so much chattering no new ideas can’t come through.

Here are suggestions for the best present you can give yourself and to others:

  • Take a break: At work, at home, just find a quiet place and simply stare at the wall, look out of the window, close your eyes and be still. Do this for 20 minutes. Practice this and you will find a new level of calmness and appreciation for getting your work done effectively and more easily. Call it meditation if you like, or just call it zipping it!
  • Journal: Write out your thoughts and feelings for 10 minutes. No worry about the right words or grammar, just write. Often, you will become clear about the next steps toward what will bring you joy and health. Once a month look back and review.
  • Exercise: Walk for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. No cell phone, no need to get somewhere. Just walk. Concentrate on how your body maneuvers as you walk. It’s amazing to think about all the internal messages that get your feet to take one step after another. Appreciate all that your body does to get you from here to there.
  • Read: Keep a book of quotes or one that guides you to new ways of thinking near your desk or night table. Take time to read a few pages every day. This can redirect your thoughts to ‘the better angels’ inside you. Or find some TED Talks that inspire you. (May I suggest “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change” )
  • Breathe: Deep breathing for 7 minutes will bring more oxygen to your body-mind. Do this: Deep breath to the count of 7, then hold your breath for the count of 7, then breath out to the count of 7, and then hold your breath again for the count of 7. Do this 7 times. When you open your eyes, the world can look brighter.

These best presents can move you out of overwhelm so you won’t have to battle burnout. Make yourself a promise to explore these easy and available gifts and put your own designer name on them. And know that YOU are rich and powerful.

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options