How to Get Your Life On Track When You're Stressed AF About The Holidays
We teamed up with horoscope.com to help you stay zen during the holidays! Here are some tips from Shereen on how to keep it together.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner and Halloween a few weeks behind us, the holiday season has officially arrived! For some, this time period marks cheer, happiness and general good times. For others, it’s quite the opposite, as the pressures from family, monetary issues and loneliness can present themselves. I know I've felt it. Admittedly, for many years, right after my birthday in mid-October, I would fall into a sort of low level depression as I anticipated the holidays. For me, the time period between my birthday and Valentine’s Day were marked to remind me of all the things I did not have. This sense of lack would follow me throughout the winter from each holiday to the next.
My family is untraditional, we do not have large holiday gatherings with aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and spouses. I actually don’t remember having a holiday with both of my parents in the same room, or even my mom and her siblings in the same room. I’ve spent many holidays alone, Netflixing in my pjs, drinking hot toddies to calm my anxiety and ease my loneliness. Then one day, I decided to do an experiment. That holiday season, I would stop focusing on the lacks in my life, and focus on the abundance I had. And, I did it. Starting with my birthday, I planned a birthday party, invited my friends and I spent my time appreciating the ones who did show up for him. I even paid an astrologer to come to give them free readings as a special treat. I planned a Friendsgiving, a Christmas party and a New Year’s dinner. By the time Valentine's Day rolled around, I realized I didn’t feel depressed at all. I felt a sort of gratitude and love for those around me that I never had before so I had threw a party for all my single gals and gave them spell casting goodie bags. Yes, I am that friend. After this successful holiday season, I committed myself to creating winters that makes me feel happy. Of course, sometimes I run into times when I have to drag myself out of a funk, but for the last few years, I have been successful. So, for those of ya’ll who are like me and are looking for a way to keep zen during the holidays, I am sharing with you my go to tips to keep it magical.
Drop the expectations
This is by far the most important rule of mastering the holidays. Don’t expect s**t from anyone. Not your mama, not your daddy, not your best friend or your significant other. It is not their purpose in life to make sure your holidays are awesome. It is yours. Own that. Bruce Lee said it best:‘I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine’. We are in this world to love, unconditionally. Make your own holiday magic and share it with others!
Focus on gratitude and curiosity. Be thankful for the folks you have in your life, no matter how few or how many. Try to find new things to learn about them. Ask questions. Find little ways to bring some joy into their holidays. You never know what demons others are fighting, be compassionate and gentle.
Do Some Visualization
Spend some time visualizing yourself in a happy state. Visualize how you want your holiday to unfold. Imagine yourself in a state of fulfillment, peace, love and acceptance. Try to do this first thing in the morning or right before bed, dedicating as little as a few minutes per day. This will keep your mental state top of mind and remind you to pause and do things that promote your own self-care and development. The holidays is when you need to do this most, as you won’t have enough love to give if you don’t first fill your own cup.
I am a huge fan of lighting candles to signify our desire to make changes in our lives. By combining your visualization exercises with candle lighting you amplify your intentions, therefore drawing them closer to you. It doesn’t need to be a fancy candle, just a plain, white pillar candle will do. Light it after you spend some time meditatingon creating a holiday season you will enjoy.
Find a Charm
Find a charm and focus on it when happiness wavers. A charm could include a bracelet, a crystal, necklace or pretty much anything that you focus on as a reminder of your intentions. Some great crystals I keep by my bed are amethyst and rose quartz. Amethyst promotes purifying, healing and is associated with the crown chakra. It can help with peaceful sleep. Rose quartz is all about love, especially self-love. It focuses on the Heart chakra. Holding these crystals serve to remind me to love myself and other unconditionally and to remember the higher purpose of our existence. Who knows how long each us have on this planet, would you rather waste it stewing about what you don’t have or love the circumstance you do have? When you focus on the big picture, the smaller things just tend to fade away.
Remember, it’s up to you to keep it zen during the holidays. It might take a bit of effort, but I guarantee if you try, you will see the shift in your life. It all starts with you! Make your own damn magic!
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