We all know that Holiday spirit can arrive with stressful, as well as joyful, tidings. Families who rarely gather will often spend time together, and many labor under the expectation that “everyone should be happy and playful during the holidays.” People who have experienced loss, illness or separation will find it particularly poignant to spend “the first Christmas in years without so and so.” The stress of eating and drinking too much can also add to the tension.
We would recommend a few simple pointers for navigating relationships through the holidays:
- Be aware of self-care: rest, nap, go for walks. Take some alone time if you need it.
- Make some agreements with your partner, family and friends, to create a time for meaningful conversation or connection. Isn’t this really the Spirit of the Holidays that we all hope for? We have had great success with a process called Heart Talk–tips for this on youtube: https://youtu.be/4l1-0ic1_Ow
- Create some inquiries for the Heart Talk, or around dinner and drinks, that could lead to deeper conversations: “What is your favorite memory of holidays when you were a little kid?” “If you could have any Holiday wish come true for the world, what would it be?” “What is the best gift you ever gave to another person?” (“Best” can be wide open to interpretation!)
- Attempt to keep your focus on generating Joy from within, and not thinking that excessive eating and drinking will create it! Moderation will support you to enjoy company and create deeper and authentic connections.
- Consider setting one intention around a relationship that poses a challenge for you: i.e. “I want to create some meaningful time with my brother and heal that argument we had last year.” “I intend to take some special time out with my Beloved, and have a conversation about living our dreams with more relaxation in the coming year.”
- While all these suggestions primarily deal with you socializing with other people, these Holy-days can be the most important time to deepen into the inner world of what inspires you. This is a time of Solstice, Winter in the North, Summer in the South—and they are high points with potentially significant doors that can open to inner worlds. Take some time in silence, and connect to whatever it is that brings you closer to the Sacred, and have a conversation with That!
Download your Holiday Meditation below:
Or listen to it here: