While it might be the most wonderful time of the year; for many, the holidays can also be very stressful. From longer to-do lists and increased financial burdens to gatherings or extended visits with dysfunctional family drama and some negative, toxic people; holiday events can drain the wonderful right out of the season and leave us feeling angry, stressed, depressed and anything but joyful. But this year (and every year from this point forward), it doesn't have to be that way. It is time to end the holiday stress and put the happy back into the holidays for good.
The sad tales of Christmases past (or anything past) are best left put behind us. Going forward, we can use mindfulness as our guide and boundaries as our tools to avoid traditional toxic energy traps. Gone are the days of energy vampires sucking your light and leaving you drained of your holiday spirit. And negative energy dumping will no longer be on the holiday menu. This year, you need to embrace your ability to set the energy tone for any holiday party, meal or visit; you are in charge of the energy you bring everywhere!
This doesn't just happen by mere chance or simple intention, it takes a honesty and preparation. If you know there is the potential for any person or situation to bring negative energy into your holiday experiences; then it is your responsibility to admit the truth to yourself and make discerning choices that support your well-being. Getting consistently drawn into toxic energy is never the answer; being ready to avoid it is an essential form self-care and love. Here are 5 ways mindfulness can decrease holiday stress:
1. Pay Attention To the Past:
Chances are, if Aunt Suzy has created holiday drama nearly every year in the past; she very well might do it again. And if every single visit from extended family leaves you feeling drained by stress, tension and a lack of consideration; then it will likely be the same. Do not expect people who see no issue with their behavior to change. Instead, it's time for you to change. The experiences of your past have given you the insight and wisdom you need to know and you must be mindful of what you are potentially getting into; use the information, accept people for who they truly are, and act in accordingly. You have to put your well-being first, nobody else can do that for you. The past is telling you what to expect, make sure you are listening and making choices that support your health and sanity.
2. Be Honest And Set Boundaries:
There's lots of talk about healthy boundaries these days and it can be a bit confusing. The word boundary may conjure images of building a wall around your life, and that is not the point at all. Healthy boundaries start with you being honest with yourself about what kinds of relationships, experiences and energy you want in your life and about who people show you who they truly are on a consistent basis. For instance, if you seek joyful, positive supportive people in your life because it makes you feel good, then those are the guidelines for your boundaries. So, spending a great deal of time with you someone who is continually the opposite of that energy, knowing it leaves you feeling generally icky, would be ignoring your healthy boundary. You must accept people for who they are (without judgment and respecting their free will to choose their own path, even if you do not understand it) and act accordingly based on your boundaries. This might include distancing yourself from certain people, or having less contact with them, or simply protecting your energy when you are around them. Mindfulness and being honest with yourself are what is most important.
3. Protect Your Energy:
If you have to be around Aunt Suzy, or anyone with the potential to cause drama and bring negative energy, it's a good idea to protect your energy. In fact, I do this for family gatherings, parties, and when I'm in a crowd, to avoid any surprises. This is not a form of paranoia and nobody is purposefully out to get you with their low vibrating energy. It's simply that there is always positive and negative energy present everywhere, and if you are energy sensitive (if you are reading this and it resonates with you, you are sensitive) you do not want to take on garbage energy that isn't yours. To do this, you can use healing crystals like Amethyst, Larimar, Black Onyx or Hematite; I wear power bead bracelets or carry a small stone in my pocket. You can also use light energy to form a protective bubble; just visualize yourself in a bubble of white, pink or purple light and ask spirit for energy protection while sending out positive vibes for all. There are many more techniques, do some research and pick one that you are drawn to.
4. Take Excellent Care of Yourself:
Quite possibly the best way to avoid getting engaged with drama and toxic energy is to rise above it. Keeping your vibration much higher then lower vibrating energy is a necessity. To do this, taking excellent care of yourself is crucial. Strive to eat clean, exercise, get proper sleep, meditate, have a spiritual practice and do things that bring you joy. Often during the holiday season, our self-care can be lacking. We eat poorly, we drink more alcohol, we over book our schedule and we over task our lives. This can lower our vibration and lead us to resonating with other low vibrating energy; creating an opportunity for others engage us in drama. When we consciously focus on making choices that maintain and support a higher vibration, we cannot get dragged down; especially when you combine this with energy protection. Excellent self-care is the best Christmas gift you can give yourself!
5. Bring Your Higher Self:
Your higher self is aligned with love and peace; it is your soul. The more choices you make to maintain to a higher vibration and live authentically, the more you resonate with that energy. You can call on your higher self to help you avoid engaging with the negative behavior of others; to rise far above it. This is a technique I use often with great success and all you have to do ask! During meditation or prayer, ask your angels, spirit or guides to connect you with your higher self during a specific time (like a holiday gathering or party) so that you operate from a place of unconditional love. You can also ask your angels to to work with the free will of others attending and advocate for all to connect with their higher selves; we are all capable of it. This all happens on a subconscious level. Even if others choose to not connect, you are connected and will find it much easier to overlook any negative behavior and overcome any toxic energy; it just doesn't really affect you. Try it and observe the benefits for yourself.
6. Stop Keeping Up With the Jones':
It can be easy to fall into the trap of comparing and competing during the holidays; all advertising campaigns bank on it. We are constantly receiving messages about purchasing the latest and greatest, finding the perfect gift, buying more electronics (and jewelry, clothes, etc…) and stuffing the stockings of our children until they are overflowing. The energy of this cycle leads to chaos and stress; any positive feelings when we make purchase are fleeting. Mindfulness can help with avoiding this consumer trap. Making a plan for gift giving can be helpful, and it is best to do this far in advance of the holidays so you are not affected by the rush of seasonal energy. Consider meaningful gifts like charitable donations, positive experiences (like energy healing or travel), personal development books, healing crystals, essential oils, poetry/artwork or hand made items/crafts. Get creative, strive for personal and unique and remember this; they way you choose to honor an occasion is up to you, you do not have to do it the same way most people do. Let the Jones' be the Jones' and you be you.
With mindfulness, preparation, and intention, you can absolutely create a Happy Holiday and an even happier new year!