The Holidays, as they are celebrated in most American cultures, are right around the corner. Lights, music, tasty foods, and beautiful fashions are often more prevalent during this time. Some people stress about impending weight gain, while others may search for a greater sense of purpose and well-being, which, depending on their state of affairs, can be impossible to achieve. When difficulties in coping occur, are these apprehensions for the holidays based on our own inflated expectations? And, are we neglecting realism, even though some are quite aware that the family dinner often ensues with a level of drama far exceeding historical achievements?
From a spiritual context, we know what we should do to prevent family and holiday burn-out. However, when caught-up in celebratory magnificence, comfortable and daily practices are occasionally pushed back until the first of the year. At least this is what we sometimes tell ourselves. All will be good in January, we say. Even so…the Good in you, to serve self and others, still remains, and we must discover and rediscover primary opportunities to consistently harvest it.
Let’s touch on a few…
One of the first steps for daily well-being is acquiring sound, restorative sleep. A recent study in the journal Sleep, showed that poor sleep patterns cause inflammation in the body and can be directly connected to several types of diseases. On the flipside, the same study showed that too much sleep can also produce certain forms of illness. Finding balance is indeed an important element.
One of my recent guest in his 70’s shared with me that without daily exercise, he is unable to experience a good night’s rest. One other acquaintance swears by essential oil of lavender in her diffusor each night. Another, believes that 8ozs of fresh carrot juice often can do the trick. Drawing the line to what we would try, may simply mean that we must find our own paths to rest…to rest the mind and the body for some of the psychological and physical responsibilities the holidays may bring, could be beneficial to experiencing peace.
Maintaining Healthy Routines
Next we must consider eating a healthy diet. Not only will this boost our immune systems, it may also help to balance the upcoming holiday meals patiently awaiting us. If you know that you will have a holiday event at the end of each week, try balancing your food intake prior to this time. Check with your doctor or nutritionist to learn the most ideal way to do this.
Third, practicing self-talk can also be a powerful tool. The little engine in the train said “I think I can, I think I can.” Well, pretend your heart is the little engine, and continuously tell yourself the same, relating to any trepidation you may hold.
Forth, when faced with occasional challenges or challenging people, adjust your self-awareness to smile inside. In these situations I tell myself, “This is clearly not about me, I am poised and smart enough to know this.”
Implement a Personal Mantra
Fifth, when you are uncertain about your own abilities to be able to skate through the next few months, tell yourself “I’ll show you” and use this as your personal mantra toward motivation to help to rid yourself of uncomfortable, stressful, and, “I’d rather be home than doing this“, moments.
Harvesting the good during the holidays is like the daily work of a farmer. We must plant the seed, water it, and patiently watch it sprout. With proper care it grows and grows into this wonderful nutritious element that sustains us for one season, and perhaps many others.
You matter! Take care of yourself. With consistency, you can accomplish more Good for yourself to then peacefully transmit onto others.
Enjoy this most beautiful time of the year!
Drummond, S.P.A. (2017). The sleep research society (SRS) is excited to be part of the evolution happening at Sleep. Sleep, 40(1), 1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep.zsw078