R2R 5: Managing Holidays

Another holiday season is upon us, and we all have expectations and certain images of what we’d like to experience in holiday spirits ..

For most of us, this is our favorite season of all. Families and communities get together in their festive spirit to celebrate life. It is a time of reunion in joy, gratitude, love and compassion.

And for some of us, holidays also mean stress and anxiety.

If you’re one of those who anticipate some challenging times ahead, don’t worry, you’ll be amazed by the things you can do to change your experience and make it a joyful one this year.

You will agree though – these intense emotions are not fun. Having stress and anxiety make you lose a lot of energy and make us feel exhausted and depleted.

So if you want to have a completely different energy this holiday season, you might be interested in looking at some of the situations that trigger you and make you experience those negative, draining emotions …

Thinking about this holiday season, and what’s going on in your life, do you feel you have too much to do, things to organize, gatherings to go to .. and maybe you don’t have much time to do all of that.. so naturally you might be feeling overwhelmed..

Maybe you are worried about meeting others’ expectations .. or your own for that matter, as you try to make everything perfect ..  and this pressure alone makes you feel exhausted, and depleted ..

How about your partner or people around you, who are making irritating comments or unwilling to help you with all the chaos that is going on .. ? Are you getting annoyed? Are you frustrated?

Or maybe .. you’re feeling lonely that you don’t have anybody to celebrate with or you don’t feel like joining others .. because simply you don’t feel connected with anyone ..

Whatever your situation might be, simply identify what’s going on in your life and how these things make you feel ..

Just observe your thoughts, your emotions and the physical sensations these emotions create in your body ..

simply notice and stay with whatever is arising ..

As you keep observing what’s going on in your head, in your heart and in your body, you may start to feel a sense of separation from all that is arising .. like an outside observer, keep looking in with some curiosity ..

Now, as you keep these stressful situations in your attention, start to challenge them .. and ask yourself the question of “what if”  ..

Let’s go through the scenarios we mentioned before ..

For example..

What kind of things do you do to meet others’ expectations? What if you didn’t do any of those things that were expected from you? Are you afraid of being judged, or embarrassed, or not being recognized?

What kind of comments do they make? What kind of attitude do they show? What if you told them how their remarks or attitude make you feel and how much you don’t appreciate all of that? What would happen? If you did that, are you afraid of not being loved, or not being accepted, or simply getting rejected?

What are your expectations of others? What if you didn’t do everything yourself this year and nobody else took initiative? Are you afraid of things getting out of control, being chaotic, or not perfect enough?

What makes you think that you’re not connected to people? What if you strike up a conversation and let it flow as it may? Are you afraid of being rejected, or not being understood or not being interesting enough?

Once you start to peel off some of these layers of your emotional reactions, you may come to realization about why you really stress out.

Without falling into the trap of blaming others or yourself for that matter, can you turn your attention inward and show some self-compassion to yourself?

Maybe you had these hidden fears underneath of your reactions. Can you embrace yourself as who you are with some warm understanding of your Self  ..

Maybe, because of your acceptance of yourself, you will be able to stand up and express how you really feel to the people who care for you ..

Without going too far, just see what you can do with this .. see what’s available to you when you accept your feelings as they are, and see if you can try to communicate your feelings freely to others in a different way..

Meaning like .. “hey, I’m feeling overwhelmed now, can you help me with this?”

“Oh, I didn’t like your comments, I’m wondering what you meant by that”

“We’re running late to the party again, but I’m curious when we’ll be there”

And with that curiosity in all of your communications .. see where the conversations go .. notice how the energy flows between people ..

Yes! there is a big chance that this holiday season will be filled with long lasting joyous memories of openness, love, compassion and gratitude.

You’re holding the key .. open the door and step into your power of accepting your Self as who you are ..

I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please share them with me through the contact form on R2R.org.

Until next time, stay empowered.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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