In mid-October, I went into a big box store and I was assaulted by Santa, reindeers and snowmen. It was overwhelming! I realized I was breathing shallow breaths and my energy immediately drained out my feet. It was the opposite of peace for me in that moment, it was traumatic. My brain was overloaded! (Britt Frank’s definition of trauma is “brain overwhelm”).

I have a sense that I am not the only person in the midst of angst over holiday expectations, the hectic pace of the next few weeks, the long list of “to-do’s” and family/social events that can be draining. As I boldly cruised the aisles of the store, many of cards in the holiday section said in huge letters, PEACE and JOY! When in reality, advertising is selling something very different. The message is to conform, buy, and over spend.

I was struck by what we need, is to have is a sense of peace, tranquility and calm in the midst of all these holiday activities. To consciously make the next several weeks memorable for the right reason.

The aspect of peace I want to focus on this month is:

  • Freedom from disturbance, to experience tranquility, restfulness and calmness which will lead to goodwill.
  • For many of us in the past, the alternative is snapping at our loved ones, sighing relentlessly and missing the moments because we are exhausted and overwhelmed.

How do we find this serenity and calm in the midst of busy-ness?
Here are four tips that support soul care and peace during the holidays.

1. Get clear on your needs:
In my family, they kid me because my favorite statement is, “I can do this but I can’t do that.” It is so helpful for me and the person I am communication with. It lets each of us know what my boundaries and needs are.

Before you get too busy this month, make a list of your needs for the holidays. Ask your loved ones to do the same thing. Then share these lists and determine what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable. Do whatever needs to be done to keep the peace within, while respecting the need for peace for your loved ones as well. Remember, each of your boundaries need to be recognized and taken into consideration. Ask how can you make amends to meet the needs of those you love and live with.

2. Rituals:
One of the best things you can do to create peace during the holidays is to stay consistent with your regular self-care routine or rituals. Because we pack so much into our pre-holiday schedules, one of the first things to go are our rituals and self-care practices. It is tempting to by-pass these helpful morning practices, (journaling, praying, meditating, stretching, early morning exercise). Yet if we do ditch them, we start the day at a deficit. These activities have proven to boost your confidence and support you throughout the year. To fail to practice them when you are already taxed, is not a good strategy. Your self-care routines help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which are extremely helpful for your overall well-being. Well-Being fosters healthy responses and being present.

3. Your motives:
People pleasing, obligation and resentment can go hand in hand if we are not intentional. People pleasing is when we constantly put the needs of other first and neglect our own needs. Let’s face it, there are obligations we say yes to because it is a relationship we value and we determine it is a worthy obligation to say yes to. That is the power of choice.
When we feel there is little room for choice, we can feel resentful. We feel guilty for meeting our needs and it can start a snowball of messy emotions. Tune into this good information that you are feeling frustrated or resentful. Is this situational or a pattern? If possible, go back to discussing needs and work on a workable solution for the parties involved..

4. Your Focus:
If you will open yourself up to love, it can support you making the right decision for that moment. Locating love and choosing for the best of the relationship, is choosing for you as well as the other. By not going to that particular event/obligation, what is the cost to yourself and the relationship. From the focus of love, we are supported to make a considerate decision.

By staying true to ourselves, making intentional, considerate decisions from a place of love and integrity will increase the peace throughout the holidays. It is because your yes means yes, and your no means no.

If this topic strikes a chord with you, please join Circle of Trust!
This is a proactive way to tend to your soul through connection, a community that encourages one another, and where goodwill is the intent. Please click on the link below to join the Circle of Trust.

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Peace be with you my friend! And may you thoroughly enjoy the holidays!