Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, holiday time is about reconnecting with family and loved ones with love, joy and compassion, and remembering with the fondest of memories those who have passed. However, holidays can also be challenging or disenchanting at times with increased stress levels, especially in women and this is why.
Women tend to feel they have more responsibilities at this time of year with shopping, preparing, cleaning and cooking. It has been cited that women feel more stress during the holiday season and find it harder to relax and gravitate toward ‘comfort eating’ to reduce stress. According to the American Psychology Association, the three (3) top stressors are lack of time (69%), lack of money (69%) and commercialism (51%) with the pressure and stress of giving and receiving gifts.
You will never eliminate all the stress yet you can clear it and approach the stressors intentionally. In other words, there are ways to shift the stress and enjoy your self throughout the holidays. First, look at what are your possible stressors.
- Are you one of those driven to create the flawless perfect memorable holiday by scrambling and stressing out right to the end, especially on the day of celebration?
- Are you attempting to re-create a past holiday tradition trying to duplicate what you think the holiday should look and feel like or create a new tradition with a touch of the old?
- Are you paying the price in your stress levels giving in to all the commercial hype and social pressures combined with your own self-pressures and self-criticism?
Would you like to know inner peace during the holidays? The answers are within. Place your awareness around the heart and ask the heart these 3 self-care/self-love questions. After you read each question, close your eyes and listen to your heart’s response. Allow the images, and sensations to come forth.
- “What would happen if you approached the holidays from a place of non-pressured flexibility, going with the flow knowing that perfection is ego-driven?”
- “How would your holidays change if you asked others for help, such as assisting in preparation or cleaning up?”
- “How would your holiday be if you were truly present and mindful of all the people, the sights, sounds, aromas, and sensations while savoring the blessings of nourishments shared?”
Now I would like you to consider your conversations during holiday gatherings as family and friends love to recite old memories or share new stories. If you find yourself surrounded by negative low energy conversations, you can do one of two things. You can either contribute positive comments to uplift the conversation and encourage and motivate others to follow, or you can politely remove yourself and not get caught up in the negativity. Remember, energy begets energy. When you leave a negative fueled conversation, remain centered and calm by following your out-breath all the way to the end and wait for that momentary pause before you breath in again. This will bring you back to the present and restore balance. Then remember to not lower your vibration and gossip or complain about the other conversation to others.
I consider this to be one of most importance. If an elderly relative or friend is telling you a story for the 100th time, listen as though it was the first time and let them be seen, be heard and feel loved. Show them understanding and acceptance. Be grateful and cherish that he or she is with you to celebrate one more blessed holiday.
So, however you choose to prepare for the holidays, remember it’s a choice. Have fun and be flexible. Share your love and shine your light with all.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE- NO PART OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BE USED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF JAN KINDER.