Flourishing During the Holidays

Between mid-November and the end of the year, there are at least 29 different holidays in different cultures around the world. For some of us, this holiday “season” becomes the “season of stress and tension.” The good news? It doesn’t have to be. We can flourish.

Let’s talk a little bit about how we perceive holidays, regardless of where they land on the calendar. For most of the world, upcoming holidays signal a lot of preparation – to get home, to physically connect with family and friends we haven’t seen in a long while, the food, the weather, the endless lines/queues, and on and on and on. And this year, we have the added stress of viruses and quarantines, and sheltering at home.

When we look at these events, and all the effort that goes into making them happen, it would be easy to slip into panic mode. “How do we get there?” “When am I going to have the time to get the grocery shopping done?” “The timing has to be perfect, or we’ll miss the plane!” “What on earth am I going to get for presents?!?!?” “How soon do I need to get everything shipped?” Do you recognize anyone you know in these scenarios? Perhaps yourself?

With all of the “how’s” and “have to’s,” we get ourselves all tied up in knots – literally and figuratively. Every traffic tie-up becomes a crisis. Finding a parking place becomes the ultimate in gladiatorial combat. “To do” lists grow lists of their own. We seem to lose our ability to make even the simplest of decisions. Headaches ensue. At its worst, all some of us want to do is pull the covers over our heads, and avoid the holidays altogether.

So, how do we get past the stress and tension? We’ll talk more about this in the days ahead. In the meantime, give some thought to those stress points that cause you tension during the holidays. Ask yourself “why” they do. This is a little self-reflection exercise that may uncover some “old tapes” you can throw out or “saved files” you can update or delete.