The holiday season can bring warm anticipation. Thoughts of seeing family and friends in celebration can be delightful! The unfortunate paradox is that in our eagerness to participate in the season’s festivities, we often find ourselves overworked, stressed, and exhausted. Our physical, mental, emotional, and financial resources are spent. We find ourselves overcome by holidaze.
Holidaze can make us dazed, cranky, short-tempered, anxious, and depressed. Holidaze is the dark side of the season. It is our inner Grinch. We know it has encroached when we become angry about losing a parking place or waiting in line; when we lose patience with the people in our lives – from the clerk at the store to our spouses and even our children, the little souls whom we hope to teach.
How do we escape the dreaded holidaze?
Below are four principles for keeping holidaze at bay and enjoying the spirit of the season with ease and well-being.
Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Exercise daily, if possible. Focus on maintaining sanity in your diet. Keep lavish foods, sugar, alcohol, and baked goods to a minimum. Take moments for yourself to get fresh air, breathe, and connect with the goodness inside of you. Preventing holidaze requires that your mind and body be as healthful as possible.
Ask important questions. Sometimes we get so caught up in the fervor of the season that we don’t question our intention.
Ask questions like:
What is the purpose of this celebration?
Why do I feel I need to participate in the chaos?
What do I gain from this?
What do I wish to teach my children?
What am I actually teaching my children?
Am I expressing myself in the world as the best I can be in this situation?
What are my core beliefs and am I serving them now?
This kind of query can help us take a step back from the holidaze and take control. We can overcome the madness.
Look for sameness. When we take time to stop and observe our world and her people, we find that we are really all the same. We are all daughters, sons, parents, or siblings. We work. We play. We struggle. We cry. We want our children to be happy and healthy. We want peace in our lives. We are all the same. There is no us and them. There is we. When we recognize our sameness, we can realize that when others hurt, we also hurt. This awareness helps us to be more tolerant. It provides a framework for enhancing calm and empathy. It lights the path that leads us away from holidaze and toward inner peace.
Be the belief. Too often we look for meaning and purpose outside of ourselves. During this season in particular, we tend to seek fulfillment, gratification, acknowledgement and joy from external sources such as pageantry, giving and receiving gifts, family interactions, or ceremony. These are simply acts. In and of themselves they cannot sustain us or bring us happiness. Our belief, purpose, and core values are what bring meaning to these things. Make conscious choices that are congruent with your core values. When you do this, you actually radiate these values. You become the meaning and the purpose you are seeking. You no longer need a person or an event to feed your needs.
As we begin to love and take care of ourselves, we can also appreciate and love others. We resonate with our core values and ask important questions about how we can best live those values. We personify the true magic of the holiday season.
We are the celebration!