The importance of inner peace during the holidays
The holiday season often disrupts the typical routine of life with all the requisite hosting, travel, appointments, and shopping—not to mention all the unexpected expenses and visiting family members (who usually bring their expectations with them). As such, many people find this a difficult time for their mental health.
Maintaining inner peace during the holidays is an important part of maintaining your overall well-being. This can help ensure that your actions align with your beliefs and values, and increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to enjoy the most enjoyable parts of the season.
If you’re feeling pressure from all that stuff on your plate, try these useful techniques that may help you maintain your inner peace this holiday season.
Prioritize me time
Enjoy the sound of silence or listen to your favorite musician or podcast. Let your hair down and give yourself a break. Don’t get attached to other people’s schedules, expectations, or perceptions. Simply letting yourself be is a crucial part of maintaining your inner peace. You can try meditating, taking a bath, going for a walk, watching the sunset, journaling, reading, or enjoying a warm drink. Now, be gentle with yourself. The holiday season increases your stress levels, and this is not the time to hold yourself to an impossible standard.
It can be tempting to get caught up in the rush of the season, causing you to rush from place to place and activity to activity. This is sure to contribute to feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and general bottomlessness. If you find yourself rushing, take a deep breath, slow down, and remember that most things can happen at a slower pace. Consider building extra time into your schedule for travel, errands, and other chores. Give yourself permission to slow down. This has the added benefit of making it easier to enjoy the moment. When you enjoy all the joyful, humorous sides of life to the fullest, the stress of the season can be worth it.
Find outlets for difficult emotions
During times of stress, it is almost inevitable that you will experience negative emotions at one point or another. Choose a few strategies ahead of time to help vent those negative feelings. This prevents them from festering, which would affect your ability to enjoy the positive parts of the season. Some things to try are journaling, channeling your emotions in motion, asking a friend to be your venting partner (and offering to return the favor), and/or using voice notes to capture all of your negative thoughts and express feelings out loud. These tricks will help you vent your frustrations and make it easier for you to maintain a sense of inner peace.
Limit exposure to triggers
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as triggers come in many forms. Triggers can be people, like that family member who always asks when you’re getting married; Places, like a relative’s house, where one often felt suffocated as a child; and smaller, more harmless things like certain foods and smells. Try to identify your triggers in advance to limit your exposure to them. Even if you can’t completely avoid your triggers, at least become aware of what you’re getting yourself into. This will help you find other accommodations for yourself. For example, you may be able to build breaks from the trigger into your schedule by setting aside times when you can go for a walk, go to the bathroom, or “call.”
Cultivate devotion and acceptance
As you walk into the chaos of the holiday season with the knowledge that there will be things out of your control and with a determination to accept your situation, you will be prepared to protect your inner peace. It can be incredibly frustrating to encounter roadblocks, last-minute changes or cancellations, and other people’s conflicting desires. Try to see these challenges as opportunities to live and let live. If you can pull that off, you might feel calmer than usual as you ride the waves this holiday season.
Be grateful for the good things
People often speak of using the holiday season to recognize and appreciate the blessings in life, but putting this principle into practice is much more difficult. As you embark on your seasonal journey, make a promise to practice authentic gratitude. Some ways to do this include writing in a gratitude journal, engaging in gratitude-focused meditation, discussing the things you’re grateful for with loved ones, and using verbal affirmations when you’re feeling drained.
Don’t let stress ruin the season
While it may be difficult, it is incredibly important for you to protect your inner peace from the stress of the holiday season. This improves your ability to enjoy yourself and is an important part of self-care in the face of increased tension.
Hopefully trying some of the methods outlined in this article should help you in this endeavor. However, if you would like additional support when trying to defend your inner peace, you should consider reaching out to a medium. Reading it can help you understand the sources of stress in your life and find coping mechanisms that are specific to your lifestyle and personality.
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