Throughout my 9 years as a Counselor, I have realized that the holidays are truly a very dark time for many, and it’s not just for the 15% of us in the population who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. For us, the literal dark and cold of the season itself is a big piece of the puzzle, and all of the stress of the holidays piles on top of an already depressing time.
Stress and expectations run high, to-do lists become far too long, and the pressure slowly builds. Not gonna lie, it’s a big part of the reason I enjoy a warm life in Bali now!
As the holidays draw closer, it seems like everyone is on the brink of explosion. Many feel the pressure of responsibility to hold family traditions together. Consumerist-driven comparison has us all in a tailspin. What is supposed to be the jolliest holiday turns into a disaster as we simply and impossibly try to keep everyone else happy. Somewhere along the way, we let ourselves slip through the cracks. What about YOUR needs? Where is the time to take care of the most important person of all? Your very own self. It’s an easy time to crack; to break; to give into the darkness.
I get it. I see you. I’m here for you.
Christmas brings up many mixed feelings in my world. Guilt, joy, shame, and loneliness to name a few! The culture around gift-giving is an interesting piece of this. I feel like it has the potential to be such a beautiful tradition, but it is also all-too-easy to miss the mark. When expectations get involved, that really complicates the whole thing. How often have you received a gift that shows the gift giver doesn’t actually know you at all? How much worse is that than not receiving a gift at all? And then of course there’s the pressure to make sure we don’t accidentally do that to someone else! It can be enough to suck the joy right out of the whole tradition.
I would like to make a suggestion. A small step, but with the power to turn this thing around, and put some of the love back into it, where it matters the most.
Step 1: Buy and/or make yourself a present.
It doesn’t matter how small or costly, as long as it is thoughtful, and you will truly love it. Perhaps something you typically would never buy or make for yourself. Have you ever taken yourself out on a proper date? There’s an idea! This is an opportunity to show some radical love for the person who has gotten you this far.
Step 2: Take the time to wrap it.
Make it beautiful. How would you present a gift to someone else who you care deeply about? Do the same for yourself. Allow yourself to feel how much love you’re putting into yourself, and what this symbolizes in your life. You are absolutely worth taking the time to make something beautiful for. You are just as deserving as anyone else.
Step 3: Put it under the tree, or wherever you put gifts waiting to be given.
Infuse yourself with joy on Christmas morning, or whenever you prefer to give and receive gifts. Really feel the loving energy that went into this gift for you. Let this be a reminder that happiness can always come from within, and needs be reliant on no one else. You can always take the time to be grateful for your own admirable qualities: Your empathy, compassion, strength, beauty, inspiration, resilience, cheerfulness, open-heartedness. It’s time to celebrate all things that make you, YOU!
There is no better time than the present to stop, and remember what’s important. The reason for the season. If it’s all about spending time with loved ones, and showing those close to you that you care. Don’t forget about the very most important one. The one who you are destined to spend the rest of your life with. YOU. This is a perfect time to set your sights on what is truly important for 2018, and set the tone with making yourself a priority. Just imagine the ripple effects!
Happy Holidays to you, and remember to let the love flow both ways this holiday season. The more it flows in, the more it can flow out. Byproduct: A Much Brighter and Happier Place To Live, for all of us!
By Dia Michelle
Dia Michelle is a renaissance soul with an extensive background in Psychology and Yoga. She aspires to help people reach their highest potential through "Soul Therapy," combining her education, passions, and experience to help others find their own style of healing magic within. She currently resides in Bali with her gorgeousl goddess of a partner. Together, they combine forces to share their Sonic Freedom Yoga classes around the world.
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