Carol Burbank, Ph.D.
“I believe that slowness is an act of resistance, not because slowness is good in itself but because of all it makes room for, the things that don’t get measured and can’t be bought.”
Rebecca Solnit, “Finding Time,” Orion Magazine, 2007
When we’re sensitive to other people’s emotions and struggles, holidays bring extra challenges. Winter celebrations bring their own craziness, the joy/grief cycle of memory, reunions and rituals that touch everyone to the core. Just riding our own rollercoaster is enough! But when we are empathic, we sense everyone else’s wild ride, too! It can be overwhelming.
It’s hard enough to deal with our own stress, faced with family gatherings, work parties and behind-the-scenes shopping and preparation. Here are three tips to slow the holiday rush down so sensitive people can enjoy the ride.
- Plan – and take some time to make your home nest beautiful. Make a place where you can feel grounded and have the cozy space you need. Choose a few places to create order out of chaos, and decorate the rest with love. I just cleared out my office, recycling a lot of paper and creating a fresh space for my writing, thinking and planning. What a difference it makes, to sit down and write my Christmas cards on a clean, empty desk. The rest of the house? – well, let’s just say, a quick sweep and a few pine boughs were enough to bring in the holiday feeling.
- Make leisurely plans to spend time with friends who value you. You’re going to have to deal with the holiday energy vampires! Why not connect with your nurturer friends, so you’re energized with healthy love? I have a few best friends, my chosen family. They make me feel good just with a text or an email. So during the holidays I make sure we get together and celebrate our amazing connection. Somehow, that makes it easier to remember to keep healthy boundaries with other people.
- Keep your healing tools handy! Tuck your favorite tarot cards into your purse and use them to guide a meditative moment at lunch. Wear your best amethysts, or whatever keeps you grounded and calm, to that party you’ve been dreading for months. Treat yourself to a new tool, a little “splurge” that reminds you that you are precious.*
Above all, be sure to slow down. When you start to collect negative emotions, take a moment to breathe. You don’t need to carry anyone else’s burdens, unless you really want to! As you ground yourself with your mindful breath, look at something lovely, or remember something that gives you a sense of gratitude or joy.
Remember, the winter holidays are all about the return of the light, that unmeasurable moment when the sun turns towards spring and hope. So take it slow, and savor the season.
Happy Holidays from AnnaMariah, Virginia, Carol and Joan
Note: As I was getting ready to post this, I saw a Facebook post by Wayne Dyer that so perfectly fits the theme I had to share it with you.
‘Tis the season when we really need a moment of silence.
* Note from AnnaMariah – of course, we know you’ll be wearing your BioElectric Shield to all the holiday gatherings. Now might also be a good time to consider upgrading to the next level Shield and giving yourself a gift of extra protection and balancing.