Despite the good cheer that they bring, holidays can and do often dial up stress. As we move through a holiday season unlike any we have ever seen, here are three pointers for managing it:
You get to decide how you want to lead yourself, how you want to show up. You can take command of the few things you do self-govern. Your bedrock habits: sleep, movement, real food, mindful practice and whatever else keeps you grounded. You have more agency over your life than you often realize.
A boxer ducks and weaves and will get injured if he stays fixed in one position. If you stay fixed on your ideas, traditions and “shoulds,” you will surely break. We can change our expectations for how something “used to be” (or should be). Re-imagine how this one time, you could do something you have never done before or hold onto one important tradition and modify it. Accept (without the need to like) what is. You can approach your inner life mindfully and productively.
What are you thinking about or focusing on? Are you watering the weeds or the garden? Carefully curate what you let into your life (media, ruminating thoughts). You can learn to direct your attention (brain) in a way that serves you. Energy goes where the energy flows, and you get to decide where your attention goes. With practice, you can regulate your mind. Selectively paying attention is a form of intelligence.
Here is to a beautiful 2021!
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
– Viktor Frankl
Documentary Mania is a website with hundreds of free documentaries – Check out a few I have loved. Free Solo– about the first person to free climb Yosemite’s El Capitan wall. The Magic Pill, follows a group of ill people all over the globe and puts them on a stone age diet. The transformation is remarkable. The Cove is a beautifully shot Oscar and Academy Award-winning film on a cruel dolphin hunting practice that has caused international outrage.