The holidays have been upon us for awhile now. It begins with Halloween. Yes, I said it, Halloween really is the start of the holiday season- in the commercialized, Capitalist West. We begin to see the season being pushed upon us in the media and in consumerism. Some people say it seems to appear earlier and earlier each year.
If you are fortunate enough to have wonderful family, friends, financial security, a successful romantic relationship, good health, employment, I am happy for you! For most people the holidays are not so jolly. Most people struggle with one thing or another. Although it may seem like others have it all together or have what it takes for the perfect holiday season, looking at the outsides of what others present to us and then comparing that to our circumstances can be a terrible thing to do to ourselves.
I have a secret to tell you- No one has it all or all together. NO ONE. Everyone is struggling with one thing or another. What can we do with our struggles during the holidays, when the pressure is everywhere to be something or do something that we may not be able to?
Be kind to yourself. Take extra care in eating balanced meals, drinking lots of water and not overindulging too much. Get lots of sleep and rest. Take breaks to breathe, meditate or just be alone when you need to. Sometimes, 10 minutes is all you need. Get some exercise- go for a walk or just sit outside. Talk to a supportive friend or family member or partner when you are overwhelmed. You can also call a counselor or a hotline, we are always available! Let yourself cry if you need to. Do things that you know make you feel good too. If you are unsure, make a list of what you know has brought you enjoyment and feelings of ease or happiness in the past.
Pay attention-start to notice what works and what doesn't. If we are mindful, we can begin to see that avoiding, ignoring, pushing away or trying to feel good does not make any emotions that are unwanted go away. If we take good care of ourselves and are kind to ourselves, we will see that emotions come and go. They are like the holidays. They are temporary. They will pass.