The holiday season has arrived and it with it comes boundless potential for anxiety and conflict. Family, colleagues, friends, retailers...everyone seems in a heightened state of stress. Are holiday meltdowns inevitable? Not necessarily.
Here are three actions you can take this season to help you decompress in the pressure cooker of the holidays. They will help you not only survive a trip to the mall, but ultimately will bring you more confidence, understanding, and opportunity to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
1. Find compassion-for yourself and others.
We can't recognize compassion in others if we don't find it in ourselves. Be thankful for what you have and for your relationships. Examine the uncomfortable parts of your life and embrace them. Don't try to brush them aside or ignore them. This doesn't mean you don't set goals for self-improvement. In fact, the only way we improve is by first embracing those parts of ourselves we are not happy with. Recognizing this will in turn allow us to find compassion for others with whom we have conflict. Compassion and consensus are two different things. We can find compassion for someone and not agree with his or her perspective.
2. Be fully accountable.
I am talking about a level of accountability that most of us are unaware of and don't spend much time pondering. In difficult circumstances, it's easy for us to point a finger and say " I feel annoyed because..." (Fill in the blank). But how much stronger can we become if we realize we are fully responsible for how we feel and what we do, even in the face of a situation we seem to have no control over? During this holiday season, practice finding ways of feeling fully accountable in all areas of your life. It will empower you to create and manifest beyond your wildest dreams,
We have become a culture addicted to the dopamine rush from checking our Smart Phones. Every time we hear the sound or feel the buzz of a new text or app notification, our addiction is fed. While technology is often what connects us, it is also what disconnects us from feeling grounded in our bodies and brains. Detach from your technology over this holiday and set clear rules to be sure it happens. For example, allow only ten minutes of technology every two hours; set specific windows of time for web surfing; delete social media apps from your phone, even temporarily, so you are not tempted to casually peek at your device while at dinner with family. Take a walk without your phone; feel the ground beneath your feet; take deep breaths to reconnect with your consciousness. Purposefully plan these respites and stick to them. You may feel so relieved/relaxed/energized that you choose to continue them into the New Year.
Many of us enter the holidays braced for stressors. We anticipate repeat performances of the best and worst of years past, rather than being open and present to current experiences as they unfold. This holiday season, try to take on these three challenges. I have a feeling, you and the people in your life will be glad you did.