‘Tis the season to be jolly? Sometimes. Sometimes we’re jolly but there’s also a host of many other emotions that come in around the holiday season. Stress and anxiety are some that come to mind and I see those feelings brought up in numerous conversations during this time of year.
It makes sense. So many of us dive into this time of year with many things on our brain. Decorations, baking, parties, gatherings, gifts, traditions, travel, the new year, the list goes on. And while these things can bring joy for many of us indeed, it’s normal to also feel stress by these things. It’s a lot coming in at once and all to be done within a short time frame. Stress can be present even amidst joy and happiness.
In a recent survey I took most everyone said they felt anxiety when anticipating what’s to come during the season. Likely because it feels like a mountain to climb- the long checklist I mentioned above. Again, very common and makes plenty of sense. We can also feel these things during events as well. Either because the situation we are in is a lot on top of the stuff already in our mind and/or because gathering is an energy drain for you.
None of that even includes any familial tension, loneliness, grief, or trauma that may come up. Other common emotions that come during the holiday season.
So we’ve acknowledged that uncomfortable emotions can occur during the holidays and I hope you know you’re far from alone and there is no feeling that’s ever invalid. But the question often is, what can we do about it? Some of us really don’t want to have to deal with this discomfort because what we really want is to enjoy the holidays. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do about these emotions. Some of my top suggestions are: therapy, saying no, simplifying, being intentional, and going to your inner resource.
Wait….what’s an inner resource? Today I want to talk about the inner resource and how you can use this free of charge, already inside of you- tool, to help you out not only during the holiday season but any other time as well.
The inner resource is a powerful tool used to help you settle during anxious or other tense situations. Have you ever heard the phrase- “go to your happy place” or “close your eyes and think of something happy”? That’s referring to your inner resource. The place inside of us that we envision that brings us peace, calm, and balance. We can mentally check out and go to this place whenever we need to.
For some their inner resource is envisioning a person, for some people it’s a smell or memory, for some it’s their home, and for some it’s a place they’ve never been. There are no bounds when it comes to your inner resource, it just has to be something that brings you comfort. It serves as a powerful resource when our brain is too overwhelmed or stress-filled.
If you’ve never used your inner resource or haven’t in awhile it may be worth revisiting. I suggest sitting quietly for a bit to think of what comes to mind or if you’d like help finding yours you can listen to the “finding your inner resource” meditation below! It just takes a few minutes and can help you find a place that goes on to help you for the rest of your life.
Once you have your inner resource all you have to do is put it into action. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed- stop and tap in to your resource. If you’re in a conversation that’s too much and leaves an edge to your emotions, leave the conversation and think about your special place. If it’s too loud and you need a breath of fresh air, step outside and think of the safety your resource brings you. Whenever and where ever you are, if you feel you need to relax or escape, think of your inner resource. Envision the place, the smells, the textures. Envision any soothing sounds or words that may emerge there. Embody that feeling that that place brings to you. Sit with it and breathe it in for as long as you need. And when you’re ready, get back up and do what you feel is best.
All emotions are valid and all experiences are different. Take what you need, leave the rest.