The holidays are upon us and it can be a time when people are a bit extra-sensitive.
Seemingly innocent comments that are made in passing that can occur as criticism, an invitation that did not happen can be devastating, a request that you made that went unheard can feel like total rejection, a thwarted expectation or disappointment or being at the effect of another’s constraints can make you feel so small and diminished that you shrug it off and just stop caring or worse even, reject the other!
All of these can be misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion, waste time and love and cause us pain during the holidays, especially. Holidays are a particularly sensitive time about what is expected from others: in viewing others’ families as being perfect, in tuning into TV and seeing beautiful and idealized family and friendship-styled shows of how life is ‘supposed to’ be, we wanted to support people in having the best holiday season they could create!
Here is our “How-To Guide for Enjoying the Holidays" and feeling most alive and satisfied in the process.
- Get your rest. Attempt to be in bed at the same time each night and greet the sunshine at the same time each morning.
- Attempt at abstaining from alcohol during the holidays if it affects your sleep quality. Or if you tend to get extra sensitive or depressed when you drink. Or have your drink a little bit earlier in the evening so that you can rest more soundly.
- Make sure that your vitamin D level is maximized. The winter months are devoid of rendering this critical hormone through sunshine, so one usually has to take supplements. Check with your health care professional! And know that maximizing your hormone D level can stave off depression!
- Make exercise a priority! Yes, even in between feasting! Get your endorphins performing for good mood, have your muscles firing and your body leaner—especially if you break from your diet. Exercise will create a better feeling of health, deeper and more restorative sleep, and you may feel more enlivened just honoring your word to your body as you know that daily exercise is so good for you!
- Pick up a pair of compassion glasses to put on your eyes. You cannot get these through retail, etail nor mail order. Harkening back on the holiday song—“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year”..at holiday time, people sometimes get out of their comfort zone to think of those in need, to reach out to loved ones and others—it is kind of a time where we have social permission to be of ‘good cheer’ –peace on earth good will towards men, etc.. And it is great to realize that we can don these ‘compassion glasses’ any minute and any time of the year. And once they are on our eyes, perhaps we can see that everyone of us has a story, a history, pain and loss and each one of us has adapted as best we can. And when we can see the other as ourself—that is a big key to avoiding misunderstandings.
- Print out a calendar of the holiday season. Take a look at the days that you want to be with others-and reach out. It does not matter if you have not heard from them or seen them in a while. While we are alive, it is wonderful to connect and create events and celebrate. Step out and do it!
- Do some good! Volunteering to raise money, feed the hungry or give gifts or toys to sick children or families in need during the holidays is a great way to do good and also avoid pain and misunderstandings. This will release healthful chemicals in your brain which will make you feel better by doing good—and you will feel more alive and less apt to misunderstand things said or not said by family and friends.
- Do some things differently! If you always go there-invite others to come to you! Or invite a new set of people! Maybe do a Secret Santa for your office, where you raise funds for an organization that does good! One person the Team knows had gifts given to a young teen Mom with a newborn—and it was the best holiday the family of this person shared as they all felt a bond in doing good for others! Or better yet, volunteer with a group of family members or friends! There are even holiday sing-a-longs at nursing homes. Everyone wins when you give of your time! And again you are less apt to take things the wrong way because you can be feeling happy!
- Have gratitude for what you do have. And express it to those for whom it matters. Pretend this is your last day on earth and what would you like people to know about you and how you think and feel about others. We never know if it will be our last day or not so we invite you to express yourself today!
- Finally, see the humor! Think of the funny side of things. If you are late, don’t sweat it—just call and tell them! If someone comments about you, just realize that is the way they are and see that it is from caring and that it is really funny in a way that the person always shows up for you that way. Own how others are to you and see if you are contributing to their thinking. If so change it. If not, be compassionate and good humored.
To your holidays! Be happy! Be healthy! You can choose! Choose to win!Read More