Some people look forward to the holiday season and others look forward to getting through the season quickly. Instead of joy, there is anxiety and sadness for some people. Maybe you are one of those who dreads this season, or you know someone who does.
Pema Chodron a buddhist teacher, talks about “having an itch, but not scratching it”. In times of great discomfort there are ways to develop self love, kindness to self and others. How you relate to the present sows the seeds for how you will relate to the future. In no way does this reduce the experience you are having and the reason for the experience, but brings it to the forefront for healing.
Plato used a phrase to explain what happens when something unpleasant happens. He explained it as “the fluttering of the soul”. The next step though after this emotional hit would be to stand back and determine what was going on. Based on that examination, making a decision that still aligns with ones values would have been this philosophers guidance.
Cultivating compassion towards yourself and others is possible.
- Being present to feelings and doing things that proactively help you to get through the season is self nurturing.
- Find ways to take care of yourself that sustains you in a healthy way.
- Find a cause that you want to give to. Whether its your time or money find a way to share what aligns with your values even when you don’t feel like it.
- Accept that not all moments are joyful and that is OK
- Accept the anxiety provoking moments and let them go
Take some breathing spaces through the holidays. By that I mean, step away from your thoughts and emotions. Check in with yourself by focusing on your breath. Simply observe your breath as you inhale and exhale. Stay with your breath. Let your breath be your anchor.