Isn't it amazing how the joy of the holiday season can also be the cause of so much stress?
Just think about how much pressure we put on ourselves during this time of year. If it's not getting the perfect gift for everyone on our list, it's planning the perfect menu and all the shopping that goes with that. Then, there are the many parties and events that we set out to attend, hosting our own, managing end of year work deadlines, school finals, decorating our homes, wrapping gifts, arranging travel plans for visiting, preparing for guests if hosting, fitting in volunteer and charitable work, and a slew of other tasks. And this doesn't include all of the other day to day things that need to get done.
December can also cause a bit of a financial burden from all the holiday spending, adding to stress and worry. For many, the holidays can also be a difficult time of year for people who have lost friends and family members, triggering feelings of sadness and even loneliness.
Seems like a full plate right? Now, to add to an already packed schedule, a long to-do list, financial pressures, and celebrating without lost loved ones, is the anticipatory stress of holiday family gatherings. Whether it be falling into the unrealistic expectation of the perfect Christmas as a happy family on this one day of the year or the dread of difficult personalities or being around relatives that don't get along, many go through the holiday season carrying tension straight through the actual day of celebration.
So, what can you do to not only survive the holidays, but also THRIVE? Well, while you cannot change others or avoid having busy schedules with lots to get done, you can change and control the way you handle each challenge for your well being.
Here are a few suggestions:
Keep Your Routine
In spite of the added pressures, do your best to stick to your usual routines. For instance, if you frequent a gym on certain days, continue doing so. When it comes to meals, be sure you are eating at your normal time and when possible, stay on track with your sleeping patterns. Doing this will keep you more grounded as the unexpected holiday madness encroaches.
Choose Your Battles
Choosing your battles does not always refer to relationships with other. This expression also applies to scheduling and commitments. You cannot be all things to all people and still have time for taking care of you. Choose events to attend that fit most conveniently into your schedule. Do your best not to say yes, when you want or need to say no. While this is the season of giving, it is not always in your best interest to overextend yourself as this can lead to either feeling run down or even resentful.
Stand in Your Own Space
One common reason that people generally find the holidays so stressful is that they follow the lead of others. While this practice is okay in moderation, it does not serve us in a healthy way when we do not take the time to really know what it is that we want. Take on the holidays the way you might a work or committee project. Give some thought to your vision and goals for the holidays. Perhaps there are some new or different traditions you would like to create and partake in. Remember that you may enjoy the holidays in ways that others in your circle do not, so be mindful that you can honor yourself while still being connected to others.
Gratitude is a practice that not only raises your vibration, allowing you to be more happy and healthy, but it also serves to help you manifest the things you most want. Meditating a few minutes here or there throughout the day - whether it is at a red light, cooking dinner, on the check out line or when awakening or falling asleep is all you need. Saying "thank you" for those things you have AS WELL as those things you are desiring in your present reality is the key. This practice relaxes, grounds, and allows you to see the world in a positive light with joy. Feeling thankful for those things that have yet to manifest in your reality as if they already exist is the surest way to feel joy, relieve stress and attract those outcomes to you.
Sometimes when we feel the most time-pressured and stressed out, it is best to disconnect by giving to others instead of sitting in the feeling of overwhelm. Perhaps you have a neighbor who is homebound that would love a nice warm cup of coffee, or maybe there is a friend or relative that you haven't seen in a while who would love a happy hello text. Giving back doesn't always mean we need to work at a homeless shelter or spend a full day with the less fortunate, although both of these can feed the soul and feel amazing, it is about random acts of kindness. The energy of being kind to someone will raise your vibrational frequency and spread it into the world.
Be Kind to Yourself
As you are running around and getting things done for the holidays, remember to take a moment here and there to tell yourself how special you are. Complement the way in which you have accomplished so much, or how delicious those Christmas cookies turned out or what a spectacular job your did decorating your home. You will bring a smile to your own face and enable the process of thriving through the holiday season!
Wishing you a fabulously Merry Christmas!
Love & Light,