The turkey has been gobbled and the shops have had their busiest day of the year. The air feels crisp and there are fanciful decorations all around. This should put you in the holiday spirit, right? Actually for a lot of us, the holidays are difficult, emotionally overwhelming, and something we just try to get through. Being around family can bring up old wounds and conflicts. We also might reminisce and grief further the losses of those that are not with us to celebrate any longer. Here are some tips to do more than just survive the season.
1. Give yourself some space - It is ok to be alone sometimes. Plan it and do something nice for yourself. Read that book that you have been meaning to get to, take a long bath, get in the kitchen an bake something, or rent your favorite DVD.
2. Give back - When we serve and show compassion to others, it draws us out of our pain and helps us to not feel so alone. There are lots of opportunities this time of year to donate your time and resources to those in need.
3. Surround yourself with goodness - There might be someone in your life that it is hard to be around. This is the time to set a boundary and surround yourself with people that are supportive instead. If you feel like you don't have someone to lean on, find other goodness in your life. This can be time for meditation, eating a favorite meal, watching something funny, or going for a beautiful hike. Practicing the art of appreciation can lift your mood and brighten your perspective.
4. Balance your mind - Yep, somedays are going to be better than others. But remember, this is not the movies, life isn't perfect and that is ok because the pain is temporary and isn't all encompassing. There is some good, some bad, and some neutral. When you start to despair, balance the thought with something that is positive and acknowledge that they both can exist in the same space. The more you fight to not feel the more tension arises in your body and mind. This can be exhausted. Work to find the lightness in your heart.
These are just a few quick ways to cope with the holidays. Call me if you want to talk more about ways you can cope 949.357.6243.
May you find meaning in this season- meaning in the pain and the joy.