Yowza! It's mid-December, people. This time of year can be challenging for many of us. In addition to the typical juggle of home and professional life, the holidays bring with them a slew of extra tasks and social obligations. It may feel impossible not to enter headless chicken mode when the calendar is jam-packed and the to-do list is endless.
For many of us, this is the season when our emotional sensitivities are also heightened. Those who have suffered through loss, health issues, or are caring for sick loved ones are especially vulnerable. There are other triggers, too. The holidays can be a time where we interact with family members or in-laws that we have tricky relationships with. It often feels like the expectations are huge at the same time that our emotional reserves are pretty low.
How do you find peace and calm in the middle of the madness? I have an emergency technique to share with you. Here's your prescription for holiday survival:
As a general rule, you should always look for opportunities for short pauses during the day to regulate your nervous system. During this season, the most important time to do this is when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Or, a relative you barely see just said something incredibly offensive at the holiday party.
First step: Get out! Take a break.
It's best, of course, if you can find some quiet space to retreat to. Another perfectly reasonable option is hiding out in a bathroom stall, or locking yourself in your car. Always be willing to flee what is stressing you as soon as you realize you're reacting. Don't worry, you'll only be gone a couple of minutes.
Once you're alone, close your eyes. Place your left hand over your heart and your right hand on top of the left. Take a moment to allow yourself to really feel that nurturing touch. Take three long, slow, and conscious breaths. You may now be able to tune into the heartbeat, underneath your hands. Notice that for a little while. Then, silently (or audibly) say to yourself: "I love you... keep going. I love you...keep going. I love you... keep going." Once you feel a little calmer, return to your previous task.
Take this emergency prescription as many times a day as needed. You can't overdose on this self-care.
If you need more of a shot in the arm to get yourself together, I am very excited to lead a special Winter Solstice Meditation at Full Circle in Harrison on Monday Dec 21 at 7:30p The class is open to men and women. I haven't seen many of you in weeks so let's see if we can pack the house with powerful energy!
More info below or sign up here.