It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
The beautiful contradiction of the holiday season is this: We have an internal longing for peace, reflection, and harmony… yet our calendar (and our families!) often can send us in the opposite direction! As a result, holiday anxiety is a real thing this time of year.
The gap between our expectations (“We need this to be the best December ever!”) and our reality (“What? We can’t have the annual Ugly Holiday Sweater party, my mother is still haranguing me about my partner, and our company is looking at layoffs?!?! Happy f’ing Hanu-Kwan-Mas!”) can create even MORE drama and stress.
It’s easy to feel like we’re failing, or we’re not enough, or that life (and our jobs, and our families, and our friends, and our cooking, and well, everything) just sucks.
As I got older, as genuine loss and tragedy accompanied many of my family’s holiday events, we sat down with a good helping of sorrow, loss, fighting, and booze passed around the table like a bowl full of mashed potatoes (accompanied with a nice ladle of guilt and shame!). We wanted to create something different, but we just didn’t know-how. Outer conditions told us what our life meant. We didn’t know about the tools we needed to create an inner shift that would allow us to show up differently for each other.
The more stressed we are emotionally and physically, the more likely we’re going to fall into old patterns of behavior and thinking. That’s why it’s critical that you take time, push the pause button, and find nurturing ways for managing holiday stress.
Here are a few of my very favorite types of self-care for this busy season. They don’t take a ton of time, and they’re sure to help you banish the holiday blues and create an energy shift.
Yes, yes, yes, I talk a lot about journaling as a tool for self-care and anxiety relief… because it works!
Not only are the pages of your journal a safe place to dump and explore the horror of the family dinner you just sat through, it’s also a great way to create intentions before those stressful moments. It’s also great to write things down when you love the experience too.
To help reframe your thinking, do daily affirmation work, or write out new endings to old scenarios. Your inner talk impacts your emotions, your perspective, and even the very cells of your body!
For more tips on how to journal for self-care, you can watch the replay of my free Magic of Journaling Workshop here.
Yup, here’s another form of spiritual self-care for me. Research shows that even a few minutes of mindful meditation has a significant impact on stress levels and emotional well-being.
If you’re just getting started meditating or are having trouble quieting your thoughts, try a guided meditation… they’re a perfect way to truly relax!
Spiritual Self-Care Tip #3 – Facial Figure 8
I just looked up the “official” name of this, and it’s apparently called “facial effleurage.” (So fancy! I just call it “making a figure eight on your face.” LOL!)
In just a few seconds, this process calms the nervous system and relaxes many of your facial muscles, such as the ones that wrinkle your forehead and raise and lower your eyebrows.
You can use it in conjunction with tapping as well — and it works great on dogs and babies, too! It’s easier to understand when you watch it in action, so here’s a short video:
Oracle Cards are the new spiritual self-care! Especially if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you may not have the time or emotional space for a multi-card spread, but you still could do with a little “hit” from Spirit!
Pull out your deck (or use my free online deck here), get yourself to a quiet place, take a few deep breaths with your feet planted firmly on the ground, and ask, “What do I need to know right now?” or “What is my next right action?”
Then select a card and let Spirit guide you!
(Note: This is especially powerful when combined with journaling. When you jot down some of your thoughts and intuitive hits on the message you’re receiving, you’ll gain even more insight and clarity!)
For centuries, baths have been used as a ritual for cleansing, relaxation, transformation, and transition. Baths of all kinds are wonderful stress-relievers and energy shifters.
I’m all for tub-time add-ons like bubbles, salts, and oils, but don’t think you have to be fancy! One of the best products for balancing your body is a high-quality, natural salt that you can get at your local health food store.
Dissolve a cup of natural salt in a hot bath. It’ll create plenty of negative ions, as well as contribute to a balanced pH in your body and offer relief of oxidative stress.
Pure Himalayan salt also has many minerals that your body needs and will absorb from your bath. The salt bath can also contain a bit of Epsom salts, or magnesium sulfate, which helps reduce inflammation and relax you.
To really give you that spa-like experience, make it a full sensory treat by adding some high-quality aromatherapy oils. (A relaxing recipe: add six drops of lavender essential oil to your bath for calming.)
Then, don’t rush! Soak long enough to feel your energy shift—10- to 20 minutes. Rejuvenation!
Another way to experience relaxation at home is with a Himalayan Salt Scrub. This simple recipe of mine below is a wonderful, aromatic scrub that has all the benefits to help empaths remain calmer and less stressed. This is a lovely scrub you can use on your hands, feet, and all over your body. And, I feel happy when I use it, so I hope you will, too!
Community is one of the most powerful sadness and anxiety-relievers, but it’s sometimes the one that’s hardest to seek out.
We can turn inward and self-isolate when times are tough and we’re feeling vulnerable… combine that tendency with our current social restrictions, and loneliness is becoming the norm.
Fight back by reaching out to others — they’re longing for human connection as much as you are! Send postcards, a funny video, a text to say hello… join an online community of positive uplifters… create a virtual family to love and support you when you need it most!
Don’t have an online community to call “home?” You’re always welcome in the Oracle Circle! Click here to find out more about my membership community!
Self-care shouldn’t be a one-time thing, particularly around the holidays when stress is heightened and old hurts and traumas can resurface. Make these a regular part of your routine to manage stress and to show some love to YOU!
Got a favorite holiday stress tip? Share in the comments below!
Join Panache Desai every morning and for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
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