As the holiday season settles into stores, our neighborhoods, the airwaves and upon the earth, looking ahead 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 to its fullest, we often find ourselves overworked, stressed, and exhausted. Our resources: physical, mental, emotional, and financial, are spent. We find ourselves overcome by Holidaze.
Holidaze can make us cranky, short-tempered, anxious, and depressed. Holidaze is the dark side of the season. It is our inner Grinch. We know it is encroaching 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 friends 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. Yes Virginia, that is the place to start. Take care of you. Exercise. Focus on maintaining sanity in your diet. Keep lavish foods, sugar, alcohol, and baked goods to a minimum. Take moments to yourself to get fresh air, breathe, and connect with the goodness inside of you. Taking on the Holidaze requires that your mind and body be as healthful as possible.
Ask the important questions. Sometimes we get so caught up in the fervor of the season that we don’t question our intention. 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 the “Sameness.” When we take the time to stop and observe our world, 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 can 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. “Be the Belief” means that we make conscious choices in our lives that are congruent with what we say are our core values. When we do this, we actually radiate these values. We become the meaning and the purpose we have been seeking. We no longer need a person or an event to feed our needs.
Do you struggle through the holidays? What has helped you get through the season?
Dr. Mary Jayne Rogers is an Exercise Physiologist specializing in whole-person wellness and fitness education and instruction. As an educator, Mary Jayne brings multi-dimensional wellness and fitness experiences along with a welcoming and genuine teaching style to inspire students and wellness enthusiasts of all ages. Dr. Rogers is the owner of Profound Wellness LLC.