Finding Peace Among the Christmas Season
Christmas is overwhelming for many; find your inner peace during this crazy season.
Whether you celebrate or not; join in Hannukah, Kwanza or Christmas fun, there is a level of stress that tends to rise up among gift buying, party going and general comotion of the season. For some, this is not a time of rejoicing, family and fun but of stress, depression and lonliness. The crowded malls, streets and cities can bring on road rage, irritation, panic attacks and anxiety. The on-set of the Holidays only brings stress instead of peace. How can we logically come back to a place of rest when all around us is the screaming nature of the season?
We see facebook videos, ads and quotes reminding us of the reason for the season, to concentrate on family instead of gifts, and to focus on the joy instead of the choas. But what’s the reality? As great as that may sound, kids still want presents and family still want your time. How do find a balance and calm.
While Christmas is just around the corner, there is still time to stop and refocus your energy on what really matters. Next year the toys may be broken, food digested and gone, family buying for your time once again. So why exude all your energy and strength into something that goes by so quickly? Take the next few days and try to think about what Holiday really means to you. Think about what it should mean. This may be two completely different things. Depending on your up-bringing, Christmas may be filled with joy or tragedy. Kindness and love or heartache and dissapointment. Holidays are a time of comfort, joy and peace, not hassle, chaos and depression. MAking yourself feel one way or the other is easier said than done. Take some practical steps to make this year better than past holidays.
Take a few moments each day to de-stress.
Get alone in a quiet room and practice a stress relieveing exercise. Tighten up your muscles starting with your toes and working your way to the top of your head. Tighten for 5 seconds then release and breath deeply. Do this all the way your body in a quiet, preferable dark room or close your eyes. After each muscle group breath deeply 2-3 times. This process should take you no more than a couple minutes but this focus, mental and physical concentration will help your body be more relaxed and feel calmer.
Avoid trigger places and people.
If you are buying presents, don’t shop the stores or malls. The traffic alone to get there is chaotic. Find gifts online and either ship them directly to the recipient or yourself. You can even order wrapping paper and supplies.
If certain people demand too much of your time this year, simply avoid spending too much time with them. It’s ok to say no, and take a break. Even close friends need breaks once in a while. It will help you deal with difficult people easier and bring friends closer together.
Don’t over schedule yourself.
You don’t have to attend every party under the sun. Choose the ones that will mean the most to you. While it’s self-less to consider others and the impact your presence will have on them, it’s also important not to forget your needs in the middle of it. If you work full time, take evenings off and enjoy some down time. Avoid issues, conversation or media that focuses on negative rather than positive.
Every person’s idea of the Holidays is different. If you’re trying to find some peace amid the chaos rethink the season.
Spokane Counselor – Layne Stoops
As a seasoned counselor and therapist I want to help those struggling with balance in their life. Many times our situations affect our responses and sometimes it’s our chemistry. Whatever the case, there are steps and practical ways to minimize stress, alleviate emotional problems and cope with tragedies. I would love to help you find that peace you’re striving for. Contact me anytime for a free consultation. As a Spokane therapist I deal with many different issues such as marriage counseling, couples counseling, family counseling and more and provide Christian marriage counseling and different structures depending on your need. LStoops@laynestoops.com – 509.953.9961