December is one of those months that people either love or hate. If you’re into the holidays and you love the rush of the season, then this is your comfort zone. But, if you’re not into the holidays, then it can be a difficult time of year. There’s a lot of stress and pressure put on us in December financially and emotionally. Some of us feel like we need to give more than we can afford. Sometimes the push and pull of our schedules becomes a major source of stress, especially if you split time between your family and a partner’s, or you simply can’t figure out when you’re going to sleep for all of the parties that are lining up. And, then there’s the emotional side to the holidays. It can be a lonely time of year, a time when we might start to question whether our lives live up to our own expectations. For those of us who have lost loved ones, December can bring many poignant reminders of our grief. Friends or family who we might rely on for support throughout the year sometimes become unavailable in December as they get busy with their own holiday plans. People go offline. They don’t return their messages for days. Even if you love the spirit of the season, it can be all too easy to lose yourself in the busyness of it all. But, with the Winter Solstice on December 22, it’s no wonder that so many of out there feel at odds with the hectic holiday season. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, but after it the strength of the Sun builds up again, little by little. What does that mean for us? The Winter Solstice is a time to rest and reflect. It’s incongruent to so many of the messages we hear throughout December to keep spending, to keep busy. Instead, the Solstice asks us to be quiet, to go within and examine what’s gone dark within us and what is ready to emerge. Set some time aside on the night of the Solstice to journal about what you’re letting go of as 2015 comes to a close and what you hope will take its place. What changes have you seen in yourself throughout the year? What beliefs or experiences are you ready to leave behind? What are you now ready to invite in? If you’re not one to journal, the Winter Solstice can be a great time to write out a list of goals for yourself for 2016. Keep them on your fridge or at your desk to help you stay on track throughout the New Year. And, even though the Solstice is about going inward, this is something that can be done with others. Maybe you and your partner want to write down your shared goals or dreams for the next year, or you want to call up your closest friends to declare your intentions together. This year, the Winter Solstice also falls on the same day the Sun moves into Capricorn, which is an earth sign. Capricorn loves structure and productivity. Capricorn energy also encourages us to sit down and create a list of goals for the year ahead. But, it also brings a burst of inspiration that might have you sitting down at your desk to work on that novel you’ve been meaning to write, or pushes you to finally map out some plans for your own Etsy store. So, if you can, also snag some time for yourself after the 22nd and get to work on a labour of love. Or, take yourself out for a coffee and crack open a book for a few hours. Go for a long walk, or clear out a closet. Get around to something that you’ve been meaning to do all month. Our dreams, goals and intentions don’t have to take a backseat just because the holidays are here. However you recognize your intentions this year, know that doing so will help remind you of who you are and where you’re going.