Now that I'm older and have been through a few Christmases, I understand why my mother-in-law would go to her bedroom and shed a few tears every Christmas gathering. I find myself doing the same thing and not even knowing why. Sometimes its because I miss someone, or remember something, or just feel confused and frustrated.
But I do know that Christmas brings out all sorts of funny feelings.
I'm not talking about the stress of spending money that we shouldn't spend or the list of Christmas duties that is way too long--I'm talking about the memories that are triggered by the pressure of a family holiday.
Like when Uncle Ron comes to the house and wants to drink too much and tell icky jokes. Or the tension between adult brothers that sours the air in the room. Or the children's tantrums as they "patiently" wait to open presents--and just can't do it anymore. I'm sure you have your list of things that don't match up to the fairy tales on TV. Here are three things that will truly help you cope better this holiday season:
1. Stay hydrated. (My clients get this one cause it always comes up.) If you keep drinking your 8-10 cups of good water every day, your blood can flow more quickly and cleanly and remove the toxins that want to build up from the extra stressful times we're in.
2. Take a few minutes every day to meditate and go to the quiet rooms in your headspace. It does make a difference to do a routine of quiet or soft-music meditation so you can calm your mind and ground your soul. Imagine a long cord going from your spine deep into the earth. It pulls up all of the good earth energy to keep you focused, clear, and grounded for today. Then, see yourself being showered with glittering light from above. Surrounding you in love and warmth.
3. Begin and end the day with a gratitude list. Something that you can feel. Like your grandchild's smile as he looks at you. Or the feel of the cozy blanket and cup of tea and a good book. Or the memory of the conversation you had with a friend today--and you laughed. Feel it. Re-live it. Appreciate it.
We may not be able to control what happens in our holiday gatherings or the events leading up to them, but we can do a few things that will affect our attitudes towards them. And, remember, you don't have to keep doing things like you did them in the past. You don't have to go to someone's house if Uncle will be there and will make you uncomfortable. Or you can limit how much time you stay. You can make choices for yourself, too.
By doing the three simple things listed above, you will be on the right road for some peace and stability during this busy time of year.
Certified Body Code Practitioner, life coach and energy healer, former non-profit executive with years of experience in caring for and about people and their place in this world. Friend of refugees and immigrants, ally to the addiction recovery community--all with respect, love, and compassion for mutual healing.