Sheldon here …
For many of us, the holidays bring lots of joy and excitement which is often coupled with jam-packed schedules and maybe a little too much socializing. As are most things in life, the holidays are often a push and pull, both the good and bad. We often think about how to get through the holidays in terms of logistics – where do I need to be and when, what’s the perfect gift for everyone, and can I really justify making three desserts for this meal? When we have an overwhelming number of things that we want to do, we may experience high levels of stress and be unable to enjoy the richness that comes with the holidays.
I’d encourage you to think about when you’ll take some time for yourself. If your holiday is filled with connecting with friends and family, you may feel compelled to spend all of your time with these people. While it can be meaningful, important and positive to do so, we also need to listen to ourselves, and our bodies. Listen to tension or stress in yourself and recognize when you need to take a break. I’d suggest you think about, before starting the holiday season, of when you’ll have some downtime. If you don’t have any, consider making some! You may need to schedule some time to take care of yourself.
During all of the events and busyness that comes along with holidays, we may be rushing from one thing to the next without sitting to enjoy the company or the effort everyone may have put into the holiday. Practicing mindfulness means being in the present moment and observing, non-judgementally. If you find yourself thinking only of what’s next, take a moment to “pull” yourself into the present – focus on one person or object and fully explore it. Look at all the curves and shadows, consider all of the beauty and imperfections. Sit in the moment and allow whatever you observe to exist. It’s much easier said than done, but the holidays are meant for human connection, so let’s try to remain connected to ourselves in the present moment.
Best of luck remaining connected and mindful during this holiday season. As the New Year approaches, many people plan to work on themselves through New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve had resolutions before that you’ve given up on, or you notice there’s always something that gets in the way, consider booking an appointment with me in the New Year and we can work to make those goals a reality.
Your friendly neighbourhood therapist,