Coping with overwhelm or aloneness in the festive season

festive season stress

Wishing you all a peaceful festive season!

Christmas can be challenging

Aloneness at Christmas

It can be painful for some who have little connection with family or friends around Christmas. Sadness or loneliness arises. Aim to acknowledge this with absolute compassion and hold it with both love and acceptance.

Gently face fear and reach out to heal aloneness

Aloneness can encourage the possibility of facing fear and reaching out to someone; friends, family or even a free event provided in the community. Sometimes anxiety makes this very daunting. In this case very small steps like reaching out online or by text or email maybe valuable. Otherwise just getting into nature being at the beach or a park. Let nature love you, accept yourself with love.  

Take small steps towards connecting to others

We can aim to slowly work on aloneness over time. To start by loving and accepting ourselves in this moment with whatever social anxieties we may have. Then to truly face that we are responsible for building our relationships and facing our fear in tiny steps. Never in a rushed overwhelming way, but by accepting our fears and slowly working on dealing with them. Perhaps, with the help of a therapist or a social anxiety group. For example reaching out to individuals we may feel  the most comfortable with first, very slowly working on that relationship, then later working on others.

Aim to let go of resistance to what is happening

It is our minds non acceptance of lonely situations and our self judgment that often contributes to distress. Spend some time surrounded by something beautiful in nature. Be as present as you can , be aware of and fully accept any emotion. Then just become aware of awareness itself. In this way the peace of the festive season will not bypass you, rather you can find a peace that is not dependent on any outside circumstance. Presence creates a sense of connectedness and deep acceptance that is very healing. We can learn to access the love that is inside.

Overwhelm means we are not looking after ourselves during the festive season

Overwhelm is common in these busy times of year. Firstly never resist the opportunity that these busy situations provide for you. Many of us, myself included years ago, don’t look forward to these times because we fear being overwhelmed. Actually these occasions provide the perfect opportunity for us to tune in and notice how our body is going. If there is overwhelm, it is up to us to look after our bodies better. No one else can do it for us.
This may mean having the courage to say no to things. It may mean choosing to look after ourselves first, rather than focusing on carrying everyone around us. Aim not to act from “should” but rather from what feels comfortable for your tired body. Then you have a chance of learning what you need to learn. We can be very compassionate with people, without trying to carry them. Compassion is different to carrying. It involves a deep acceptance of others as they are, even though we may still set firm boundaries.

Dealing with difficult people during the festive season

A final issue may be having to deal with difficult people or family members at this time of year. Here is a list of useful suggestions.
    1. Aim not to resist this situation or the fact that you have to deal with this person. Everything in life is an opportunity for growth and these challenges are perfect for that.
    2. Honestly face what you are bringing to this situation first. Are you bringing old patterns like the need to control or the need to rescue? Is some of your difficult emotion such as pain, fear or inadequacy being taken out on this person. Acknowledge and lovingly accept any emotion, then you will be much less likely to take it out on the others.
    3. Perhaps another is projecting their issues on you. Aim to understand the depth of the other person, see what is underneath their difficult behavior. Usually there will be some kind of pain, fear or feelings of worthlessness. When we truly see the depth of another person, we deal with them more compassionately. Because we understand they are not trying to hurt us, they are simply caught in unconscious emotion. This doesn’t mean that we can’t set boundaries or choose to spend less time with them. It is often very necessary to set clear boundaries. This can always be done in a compassionate way.
    4. Be present. A useful method is to practice feeling energy in the body. When you are with someone challenging, always keep some awareness on a part of your body, maybe the energy in your hands or your breathing. It really helps you to stay more centered with yourself and not get caught up in the other persons fear, or anger .
    5. As we work on presence and rest in the truth of what we are, divine love, we can also hold others as the same essence. This is what A Course in Miracles calls true forgiveness. There is nothing more healing.

Wishing you all a very peaceful festive season.

Much Love

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