We have now arrived at what many consider the best time of the year. There’s festive music, lots of things to do and lots of plans being made with family and friends. We are becoming busy and seeking out to connect and share time with others. We are exchanging tokens of gratefulness, love and appreciation to one another through meals, time and gifts. It can indeed be a happy time of year shared in love and fun. It can fill our soul with a level of gratitude for all that we have and feel in our lives. It can replenish us in reminder of where we have come in getting to this point in time.
For a lot of us, even when we do have fun things on our calendar, there is also an underlying need for solitude, peace and quiet and time to ourselves. There is a need for distance from things that are not always pleasant and permission to feel what we feel about them. There is a desire to reflect, read, be still and quiet and look from a distance. There are also many of us who have a lot of pain associated with year end holidays and that can quickly rob our joy for seeing fresh ways to make this year different. While we may enjoy the gathering we also enjoy the stillness.
Balancing this spectrum of feelings, needs and desires that comes with this time of year can be difficult. In the healthcare space we see more prescriptions for anti-depressants this time of year than at any other point. Depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and digestion issues can plague our body and hold down our spirit. This comes from many things that are going on in our lives both around us and inside. Our cells are telling us what we need to be healthy and we are burdened with stress and obligations that put these needs lower on our to-do lists. At times, our bodies will just stop and we will feel sick, overwhelmed and burdened making this an even more challenging time of year.
We are filled with our own expectations of what a perfect holiday looks like and how it should feel, look like and be. We are filled with hope for inclusion, comfort, love and things that make us feel special and good. We are also filled with reminders of the past both good and bad that can make us hesitate or even limit us from being open to what is around us now. On top of what we are feeling are traditions passed down to further mold how we think holidays should be. These influence us every single year whether we realize it or not. There can be guilt and obligation that overrun what we need to feed our soul. When you consider all of this it is of little wonder so many of us have a difficult time this time of year.
Keeping it Simple
This month we’re going to explore all the ways holidays can be made more simple as a way to navigate, manage and maybe even find that true peace of the season. By keeping them simple we are sometimes able to better balance the spectrum of complex feelings and expectations of the holidays and have that outlet that we need for things we can’t handle.
Simple doesn’t mean underdone or even doing without.Simplicity can be beautiful, memorable and imprint on us the ability to touch, feel, smell, and hear the joy this season holds. These experiences can help us heal, see things differently and find a way for holidays to take on a new meaning in our lives. Simple doesn’t mean foregoing anything we want or need. It can include family and friends visiting, special meals, making our homes pretty and more! However at the core of simplicity is an ease in which we can relax, take it in and fulfill our own needs in the process of going through this time.
Many of us always have our own children in which we are trying to give good memories to for the holidays. We want them to remember fun times, special events, favorite foods and fun free of the burden of stress we ourselves can feel as adults about the holidays. We think the tinsel and tradition will show them what the holidays are for and what to expect year to year even though deep down we are miserable, sad, depressed and anxious. We put on that brave face and press on through it though showing our children this is how you do it and “nothing is wrong.” Children see way more than we realize so if we’re stressing out about something or wrapped up in the busyness of holiday preparations and complaining about it they are seeing that. So stepping back and realizing how we can keep it simple and fun influences their young minds for how they can also make holidays good when they become adults and gives them actual good memories of now.
It changes them and us.
I have admitted before on this blog that I am one of those people who would prefer holidays have less emphasis on tradition and must do situations. Sometimes the best holidays are those spent doing something totally un-traditional and yet very memorable and sometimes the best holidays are spent with family and friends. I don’t think there is one perfect way to spend a holiday season and maybe that’s the point. However restricting ourselves to just what we “should” or “must” do is what I think often steals our joy during this time. Having things simple helps us find that flexibility to switch gears when we need to and focus on what makes us feel our best to experience the meaning of this season.
Whether you’re someone who looks forward to the holidays all year long or someone who wishes things were quieter this month’s posts will speak to your heart and help you navigate the holidays in a way that is meaningful to you. Achieving this will indeed help you live your life more naturally on your terms.
Here’s to a peaceful and meaningful journey through this holiday season!