If the winter holidays get your down, this is for you.
We are mid holiday season, ramping up to Christmas. Can you feel the quickening, maybe even some frenzy? No matter if you celebrate these days, it’s in the air. Here in Boulder, downtown was lit up and decorated in a blaze of bright colors mid November. There’s a skating rink with traditional Christmas music in the background and a gigantic star that a 200 person choir could stand inside, is lit up at the western edge of town. The signs and sounds of the season are all over the place. Before this, we had the Thanksgiving hub bub and it’ll continue until we get through New Year’s Day. It’s unavoidable. As is, the internal pain that arises for people who have negative associations with this time.
At least half of the people I know and work with find the holidays challenging to their emotional balance. There are plenty of reasons for this. Everybody has a different story or history, and yet it’s common for people to feel uncomfortable, sad, mad or scared as a result. On a basic level, it’s likely there are some needs or values that are, or were not met, and now, feelings arise. My wish for you, is that you have people who can listen, understand and empathize with you. Meanwhile, you can be your own good friend. Here are a few ways to do so and manage the stress while you are at it:
- Mindfully acknowledge how you feel.
- Be kind to you! Give yourself empathy.
- If you’re hassling yourself for “not being in the spirit,” notice this. Apply more empathy.
- Ask yourself, “Which relationships or events are most challenging?” With that information in mind, set some boundaries and limits with your time and energy. Don’t overdo it.
- Plan activities that you enjoy and keep you grounded.