The Holidays are typically full of pressure, family, and stress. Here’s some quick help in understanding how to avoid the typical Holiday ruts.
1. Why am I So Tired? – The feeling we all blame on the turkey.
The Problem: It’s after lunch or dinner and we’re tired. We nap or we struggle staying awake and interested in the conversation. We blame it on the tryptophan in the turkey. The truth is there are many foods – oats, beans, lentils and eggs just to name a few – that contain more tryptophan than turkey. Here’s the secret: it ain’t the turkey. It’s your family. When we’re with our family of origin, we tend to vibrate in the center of energy that connects us to them and to their values and belief systems – and that’s in the root chakra. If you’re familiar with that, great! If not, you can learn a little more by clicking HERE. To make it quick and simple, the lower the chakra, the lower it vibrates. When we vibrate lower, it’s easier to feel tired. (This is a super over-simplification for the sake of time and space. If you’d like more information on the chakras, google Caroline Myss or Cyndi Dale. They both have extensive written works and published videos that explain the chakra system in depth.)
The Solution: Get out of the house. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Get moving. If the rest of the family goes out as well, say a quick prayer or even do a quick energy clearing of the house if you feel inclined. You can do this by saging, ringing bells, play high vibrational music like classical among other ways as well. Then, utilize caffeine if you allow yourself to have it. The caffeine will boost you up, and if the space is cleared your family will reap the benefits as well.
2. Eeeek. Is Everything Perfect? – The stress of hosting or visiting your family.
The Problem: We think the Holidays should equal perfection. It’s a built-in program that has seeped through society for years. We’ve absorbed it, and we’re either conscious of it, or it’s driving our stress unconsciously. In our minds we imagine the Rockefellers all gathered around the tree, loving each other, gifting extravagant gifts, having civil loving conversation. And really – whose family is truly, authentically like that? There can be barking dogs, burned casseroles, dry turkey, screeching children, and ugly, knit sweaters from Aunt Bertha.
The Solution: Become aware of your expectations, even the ones lurking beneath the surface. Are they realistic? Take the pressure off of yourself to host or be invited to the perfect Holiday dinner. The truth is they don’t exist. Enjoy the imperfection, the messy, the real. Sing carols off key, enjoy the thrill of opening terrible gifts, and sit in gratitude when you donate them to a charity after family is all gone.
3. Oh No! Are they going to like it? – The stress of good gift-giving.
The Problem: It’s stressful to find just the right gift for everyone on your list. Will everybody like their gifts? Will they feel thought about or understood when they open the gift? Did I spend enough or is it on par with what they may get me? These are all questions that run through our mind when the Holidays are approaching if we choose to celebrate by giving gifts. It adds so much stress. The real problem isn’t finding the right gift, it’s that you’ve forgotten the real joy of the season. It has nothing to do with the gifts.
The Solution: There are so many options to take this stress off your shoulders. You can shift from the dreaded Holiday shopping to year-long shopping. Throughout the year, when you see something that makes you think of someone you typically buy a gift for, go ahead and buy it. Store it in a safe place until the Holidays roll around. It becomes an effortless joy to pick up things throughout the year rather than to buy for everyone under intense pressure. Another option is to give gifts that are socially conscious. For example, you can give gifts that support wildlife, give heifers to those in need in Africa, feed hungry children, buy gifts for those in the military or buy gifts that support a cause you or the recipient believe in. Yet another idea is to agree with those whom you celebrate to not give gifts and to instead volunteer at a local shelter or embark on a mission trip together. Moreover, you can decide instead to all buy groceries and deliver them to local shelters, churches, or families that you know are in need. You can make a donation to a local, national, or international organization and write each person on your list a card explaining that you gifted in their honor. Or, make it a laugh and do a funny White Elephant gift exchange. Be creative and discover ways to connect rather than to stress.