Find Your Holiday Zen - From Stressed to Sane
Are you feeling overwhelmed, and dissatisfied with the results of all of the work you are putting in to make the holidays joyful for everyone else? Let’s get a tiny bit closer to being Zen about the holidays. Can I get an Ommmmm... lol, but seriously, there is much wisdom to be received from this concept. Zen in defined in the Urban dictionary to mean, “a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.”
I have seen first hand in my work with over-giving women how the holidays can feel totally out of control, and by the time New Year's Day roles around, utter and total exhaustion has kicked in. Not a fun way to start a new year. Whether or not you are single, in a relationship, married, or divorced, today’s modern woman is dealing with a myriad of responsibilities. I could list them here, but you know the drill. When the holidays come along this doubles the work, and amps up the intensity of everyday expectations. Unfortunately, self-care, such as time for emotional balance, a healthy diet and exercise, are the first to fall by the wayside. Instead, you may be feeling the need to please everyone around you, even more so than you normally do. No wonder it can be a time of increased anxiety and depression. But, and this is a big "but", it’s never too late to make even the smallest shifts, that can dramatically change the way YOU experience the holidays, and YOUR sense of meaning during this part of your life called, “the holiday season”- dun-Dun-a-DUNNNN! Let’s change that tone, shall we?
When a client gets this on a deep level, and finally gives herself permission to be imperfect, anything becomes possible. Ahhhhhhhh…. I notice her whole body changes, her voice slows, the tense shoulders drop, and her breath becomes deeper. We talk about how to cultivate a relationship with "the self." The first relationship in your life that needs to be "ok," if you want the others to thrive. You can do this too. By taking just 1-3 minutes a day to create the space to RE-connect with that inner-you, that part of you that knows what you REALLY want to do with your precious and limited time, you may just come up with some creative alternatives to make the holidays more pleasurable for YOU, and everyone you love.
Some people will be disappointed whether you go “all out” in the normal manner, or you decide to change things up. This is when you will have to remember that you cannot please everyone, nor should you try, and that your own DESIRES are important too. Go easy, and be gentle with yourself and everyone else you come in contact with, and know and love. Chances are they are feeling some level of overwhelm too.
Now that you are on the way to getting yourself a little Zen, try to witness your experience of the holidays, be in the now, breathe, moment-by-moment, without self-judgment, and provide yourself with heavy doses of self-compassion, let me repeat: heavy doses of self-compassion. Go within, and learn to recognize your holiday triggers (lack of holiday budget, other financial concerns, family stressors, busyness, unscheduled tasks, increase in consumption of unhealthy foods, lack of time for self, etc.).
Take 10 minutes to write in a journal about what specific triggers you have had in past, and ideas that might help you avoid these situations this year. You can even use positive visualization about what you would like this time to look like for you, or how you would like specific events to go. For example, Aunt Nancy doesn’t corner me for an hour lecturing me on how important it is that I do _______________(fill in the blank), or that I haven’t ________________(fill in the blank), and now my life is a total mess, and I am a failure! Headspace goes directly to Impending Doom, no turning back! Instead, visualize yourself greeting her, and politely excusing yourself if she sets in on you. Victory! You can do this! Once you have taken these steps to improve things, remember to keep your expectations reasonable, and know that while you might be disappointed, you have to start somewhere in reclaiming your experience of this time. Hold the hope that you can start to enJOY your life, even during the stress of the holiday rush. If one small task, or interaction goes better than usual, that is a HUGE victory. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you just might be able to find peace and joy during the holidays.
If you are interested in hearing more about my Find Your Flourish workshops and events, or want to arrange for a free 15-minute consultation for private coaching, contact me here.
Tiffany Goyer, MA, RYT, merges her vast education and experience as a Coach, Marriage and Family Therapist, Practitioner of Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) and study of Yoga to bring together a wealth of healing modalities to synchronize the body, mind and spirit. Tiffany holds two 200-hr. Yoga Teacher Certifications -- One in Kundalini Yoga from Yoga West, and a second in Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga from YogaWorks. She has also been trained in LifeForce Yoga™, which is specifically designed for healthy management of mood. Tiffany utilizes this collection of yoga styles in Find Your Flourish™ classes and workshops, to inspire you to more easily master emotions, embody confidence, and produce positive lasting changes.