By Sarah Wylde
I got this week’s topic idea after I had gone shopping with my mom, aunt, and great aunt. My great aunt uses a cart to keep her steady when she walks. She doesn’t move that quick anymore, either. While we were in the store, the number of people that I saw try to quickly get around us (and almost knock into my great aunt) and huff under their breath at us was amazing. That made me think how much at this time of year, we all try to get things done in a hurry and are stressed out to a point where we forget to use patience. The holidays have a way to get us to keep searching for patience in multiple scenarios.
Patience is actually essential to daily life, for both in situations and toward other people. It is also not something you can always spot. Patience is the hockey player waiting for an injury to heal, a mother reading the same bedtime story for the third time on the same night, waiting for the late bus, and more. It has been proven that those who exhibit patience are more mindful, suffer less anxiety and depression, are more empathetic, and practice forgiveness.
When I find myself getting to that point where I can feel I am losing grip on my patience, I say a mantra. “Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, to breathe, and be in the moment.” I also try to focus on the things that I can control, rather than what I can’t. For instance, I cannot control how long the lines were that there was a crowd or my great aunt’s speed in which she walks. What I could control was how I responded. I didn’t take what those few people muttered under their breaths to heart and just focused my attention on being present with my family. I did a few breathing exercises to get rid of the frustration that was wanting to come out and honed my patience to keep my composure.
When you get to the root of it, being impatient and wanting things to hurry up, is like wishing time away. There are common ways to work on building your patience. You can practice mindfulness, gratitude, deep breathing, and more. Practicing patience helps you learn to relish the times “in-between.” In between waiting for the bus, elevator, long lines, and traffic lights.
So, for this season, I hope you can relax and enjoy the moments.
Until next time!