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FINDING YOUR INNER PEACE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

The holiday season is upon us and so are the mixed emotions many of us experience during this time. For many, this season brings about feelings of warmth, joy and belonginess. However, for some, it may trigger feelings of stress, anxiety and perhaps loneliness. The additional stress and anxiety may lead to an individual losing their feeling of inner peace or sense of calmness.

The following may help you get through the holiday season with a bit more peace, joy and happiness.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Remember, if you don’t like your feelings, change your thoughts. Validate your feelings. You own these feelings. Allow yourself to cry and feel. It’s ok to be sad at times. (We can’t always be happy)

Reach Out

Reach out to people you know and surround yourself around anyone who can lift your mood. Seek support by contacting people you know care about you and will not judge you. Limit social media during this time and actually make contact by other means to your close friends, family and loved ones. Call, send a text, or actually mail a card to someone (using snail mail, aka USPS).

Be Realistic

Set realistic expectations for yourself and your experiences during this season. Perfection does not exist! Our lives are constantly evolving, and we are changing as people. Take time to recognize the small things you accomplish every day. These add up. Honor past traditions and remember to make new ones if you can or want to. Remember to be kind to yourself and know that you are trying.

Set Aside Differences and Hard Feelings

This time of year may bring friends and family either closer or further apart. Do your best at accepting your friends and family as they are and where they are for the time being. Accepting does not necessarily mean your approval of it. Simply put, it only means you are accepting that they are who they are, at this given time. Let go of your expectations of who you would like them to be or become and focus on your similarities and not your differences. This season may not be the time have serious discussions about anyone’s shortcomings or unresolved issues between you and them. Set up a time to work out your differences after the holiday season. Be sure to follow up and not leave anything unresolved. Set a future date to make amends.

Don’t Overindulge

Understand and accept what you can and cannot do this holiday season. Set a budget and stick to it! Don’t overspend, overdrink and/or overeat during the holidays. Overindulging in any of these areas only leads to feeling more guilt, stress, anxiety and worse about yourself and your situation. Set realistic expectations of what you can do and be honest with others on what you can afford. This may involve a conversation where you mutually decide a no-gift exchange agreement. Sometimes, the other person feels relieved after you both agree not to exchange gifts. Finding the perfect gift for someone you care about adds a lot of stress and anxiety to the gift giver. Focus on being either emotionally and/or physically present with your loved ones. Remember, the greatest gifts a person can give to another person is love and their time.

Plan ahead

This time of year it is especially important to plan your time and what you wish to accomplish. Whether it is shopping, spending time with family and friends or anything else, plan your days. Remember, to include self-care in your plans. Make time to do something just for you. If you feel obligated to attend an event that you would like to avoid, have a plan. A plan may involve driving separately, bringing a friend or setting a time limit on how long you will be at the event. Surround yourself around people who make you feel good about yourself and you being there. Keep your power!

Be Honest with Yourself and Others

Learn to say No! You can’t be everything to everyone. Especially, yourself. It is perfectly ok to say no to a request. Please let them know you are especially busy this time of year and can’t be everywhere you need to be and do everything you need to do without saying No, some of the time. Remind them, how much you appreciate the request and that you care about them. It may be helpful to make future plans with this person separate from the holiday request. By doing this, it lets them know you still are there for them as a friend but are simply already overly committed this time of year. They should respect your decision and you needing to take care of yourself.

Again, Self-Care

I cannot express enough the importance of ongoing self-care. During this holiday season, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to give to others and in doing so, we forget to take care of ourselves. Don’t overindulge or over-do anything! Take care of both your physical and emotional health. Remember to eat well, sleep enough and find time for physical exercise or activity. Make time for your medical and mental health appointments during this season. Be good to yourself.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important tool in achieving inner peace and maintaining wellness. Staying in the present moment with acknowledging and accepting ones’ feelings is key to being mindful. Find time for mindfulness each day. Honor yourself with at least 10-15 minutes each day with a mindfulness activity. Try meditating, journaling, doing yoga or allowing yourself some time alone to self-reflect. Gratitude journaling and using positive affirmations daily are especially effective this time of year in reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Find the mindfulness activity (ies) that you feel fits best with you and your lifestyle.

Ask for Help

Remember we all need help from time to time. It is ok to ask for help. Acknowledging you need or are receiving mental health is a strength not a weakness. Our physical health and mental health are both important to maintaining our wellness and inner peace. Take each day and the holiday season, one day and at a time. Find your joy and happiness within yourself. I hope these steps help you in maintaining calm and finding peace.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. Happy 2020!

If you are currently contemplating suicide do not hesitate to contact the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-8255, call 911, or visit a local hospital emergency room immediately.

Dale Rogalski, MA
Inner Peace Behavioral Health, PLLC

Speak Your Mind

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100 Maple Street, Suite 208,
Wyandotte, MI 48192

info@innerpeacebh.net
(734) 407-8913
Fax: (734) 258-8229

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