Are you overwhelmed and already praying for the holiday season to be over? From family dynamics to increased expenses and the excess of gifting, while feeling like you should be enjoying it all, holidays sure can be stressful! Below are five strategies to help you navigate this time of year unapologetically and with confidence.
Take Time for Yourself:
First, it is important to set yourself up in the best way possible to remain grounded and balanced. To that end, make time for yourself every day, even if it is shorter than normal. Tend to yourself and only yourself during this time. Get in your workout, a walk, yoga, stretching, an Epsom salt bath—whatever nourishes you. If you journal or love to disappear into a novel, carve out the time to do so. I you have to alter when you typically do these activities, don’t forego them entirely. Doing so will keep you grounded and help ensure you don’t feel resentful of the additional commitments that often accompany the holidays.
Say No When You Want to Say No:
Borrow some authority from the Goddess Inanna. She refuses do what she doesn’t want to do. Say no unapologetically and with grace. Once you see how this is in fact possible to do—you’ll never go back to saying “yes” when you really want to say “no”. Try it out. Practice politely declining an invitation or an additional request for your time. And guess what? You don’t need to make up an excuse. You can be completely honest, and it will feel so good. For example, you might respond, “I am unable to attend because I have so many commitments right now, but I am truly grateful for the invite, and I am sure it will be a blast.” Once you get the groove, the felt experience of liberation will be a positive feedback loop supporting you in honoring yourself further! Start now. Say “no” and you won’t go back to doing things that you don’t want to do!
Sacred Boundaries and Sacred Space:
When you do participate in engagements and commitments during the holidays, be certain your sacred boundaries are erected before you go. When we are energetically drained, our defenses are strained. Tune in and reinforce them as a way to support your own energy and protect you from leaking energy or picking up energy at a gathering that is not supportive to you. Even when visiting your own family, put a light of protection around you. This applies to virtual gatherings on Zoom or other platforms as well. Upon return, smudge yourself, or use rose water to spray over yourself to purify and balance your energy field. This will help make certain that you are not carrying what is not yours to carry, like the nervous anxiety of your dear mother or the anger and negative lens of your beloved aunt. Use crystals to create a portable grid by placing ones that are protective and reinforce stability and balance in your pocket, your purse, or as a necklace. This will help you create your own sacred space that travels with you wherever you go!
What You Give is Enough:
Remember the actual notion behind gift giving really is just about demonstrating love. The sentiment is all that matters. This can be challenging to put into practice especially with little ones who expect Santa to give them all the things that their friends have or that they see on TV. However, this is a perfect time to teach about excess and what the holiday season is actually about. You can mirror this lesson to your children by giving gifts that are heart-centered, homemade, and creative to underscore that gift exchange does not need to be about excess, the price-tag or materiality. You may even simply offer prayer as a gift for another as we will explore below. Give yourself permission to avoid excess during this season. What you give is enough and YOU are enough!
Metta or Loving Kindness Meditation:
Loving Kindness Mediation is a practice that involves sending love, kindness, and good will to others as well as yourself. It is the best gift you can give anyone. There are many ways to do this practice but make it your own. One method is to simply repeat the following mantra as you go into a meditative state:
“May all beings in every dimension be happy, may they all be healthy and free of pain, may they all have peace in their heart, and may they all be liberated.”
You may even imagine sending love to individuals you care about and seeing, in your mind’s eye, pink or gold light moving from your heart to envelope those individuals in an embrace. Then you may move to doing this with folks with whom you have a neutral relationship—people who are simply acquaintances. Then do this with yourself. Finally, extend it all the way out to the entire planet. Follow your intuition and make the prayer your own. It will not only support others but sharing our love supports us as well.
Go forward into this season unapologetically honoring and prioritizing yourself. Doing so will help give others the permission to do it themselves.
*Inspired by the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, this blog is an invitation to live as she does, like an Unapologetic Heroine.
Seana Zelazo, LICSW is a psychotherapist, spiritual coach and intuitive channel committed to helping us live unapologetically, by restoring balance within and without through the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. Look for her upcoming book The Return of Inanna: The Unapologetic Heroine in 2022. seanazelazo.com