Holiday Stress — Strategies and Support to Ease Your Way

Remember, you are never alone…

With Christmas decorations already appearing in stores and the media sharing how many weeks left till Christmas, it’s understandable why we may feel a little hurried.

As Christmas Day draws closer and the pressure builds, we may find ourselves with less patience, feeling fragmented, and physically as well as emotionally stressed. Our environment at work and home may become chaotic as we work toward deadlines and the people around us may appear unsupportive and insensitive to our needs.

Even if you absolutely love Christmas or don’t celebrate it at all — it’s hard not to be affected … or dare I say infected by the busyness and expectations we place upon ourselves.

For some, there will be times you could pull your hair out and scream as the relationships and planning toward a happy family Christmas start to break down causing you distress. For others who have lost loved ones, loved ones are unwell, or you are spending Christmas on your own may be struggling with feelings of fatigue, grief, loss and isolation.

So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves whether that be emotional, physical or financial? Why can some of us feel so lost, isolated and experience so much sadness and frustration? How can we reconnect to the spirit of Christmas or even the spirit of love, and our connection to Source/God?

Below I share some ideas that may support and ignite the light within hopefully assisting you to feel lighter, happier and at peace:

Close your eyes, shut out the world for a moment and breathe

Sit down with a pen and paper and empty your thoughts and feelings onto the page. Or sit with a trusted friend or professional counsellor and be heard. When we open to communicate, we take the pressure off the mind and body, empowering us to see and feel with clarity and gain perspective. 

Make a list —

Creating a list will support the mind to stop unnecessary worry that you will forget something or someone. As you complete a task cross it off the page for this will help you feel a sense of achievement. Overwhelm only stops the flow.

Look after yourself and take time out —

whether that be a walk in a park, a yoga class, or to receive a massage, Reiki, or some other form of nurturing. During the experience, be mindful of your breath, be present, and pause and let go of your concerns just for now giving yourself permission to receive.

Think positive thoughts —

Remind yourself your thoughts create your world. If you have thoughts that are not loving or supportive of you, say, “CANCEL, CANCEL, CANCEL”. You do know, it’s okay to be happy. So, change your thought for you have the power.

Remember —

When feeling down or glum recall a special moment that really made your heart sing. For me, I was stopped this particular evening as I walked through my kitchen by the most glorious sunset of pink hues and golden tones. I remembered just standing there in absolute awe enveloped by its beauty. Once experienced, it’s easy to recall. It’s those uplifting moments that offer peace and connection and inspire heartfelt gratitude. 

Meditate daily —

Only ten minutes per day will have a positive effect. When you feel reconnected, anchored and in your centre, the very things that upset you may seem less of an obstruction. You’re likely to feel more energised and happier, which could create a positive ripple effect especially for those close to you as they will experience the brightness of your spirit.

Check-In —

Each day check-in with your body and mind and listen. Then recharge and rebalance yourself accordingly.

Grieving the loss of a loved one at Christmas —

This time of year may be tough for those who have lost loved ones. It’s not easy, but do you remember the funny, happy and memorable experiences you had with that person or pet? (I’ve mentioned pets because, for many who love their dear pets, it’s like losing a family member).

A suggestion that may help ease the grief.

Write down those stories, in fact, if you’re coming together with your family for Christmas why don’t you ask each person to write individually on a piece of paper one of their happiest or funniest memories. Have them describe the event in detail and then gift wrap in a small box or scroll. At your family Christmas get-together, place your gift boxes and scrolls in a basket under the Christmas tree. Allocate a time to sit together and one by one place your hand in the basket, pull one out and read what had been written to the rest of your family. In this intimate setting sharing your happy memories and tears in honour of your loved one while supporting each other may feel quite cathartic as you honour the life once lived.

Later you may wish to create a book with all of those loving memories placed in it. When feeling sad or missing them, it may support your grief by connecting to those beautiful memories.

Also, lighting a candle for those that you have lost and talking to them can also bring great comfort. 

Alone at Christmas —

If you are alone at Christmas, you could do what I’ve done on many occasions, and that is to say yes to invites from friends. Depending on how you feel, this may bring great pleasure and warmth on this day.

Otherwise, you could instead gift yourself some great food and treats, a couple of fun videos, and sit and enjoy your own time in your own home reminding yourself that ‘it’s only one day’. This is an excellent time for meditation, contemplation and tuning out if you like. I’ve also chosen to do this on some occasions and can honestly say I’ve found those times supportive and honouring of me.

Some years ago, I created with a friend a very special Christmas event for those on their own. We invited families and singles that were alone, in fact, anyone who was away from extended family or through circumstance were alone on Christmas Day.

We met at a public park and set the intent that each person wears something Christmassy and bring food to share and their own refreshments. It was one of my most memorable Christmas days.

Remember, you are never alone… if you believe in angels, spiritual guides, God and many other benevolent beings, know they are always with you. Take the time, and openly share with them and ask them to support you.

If you feel in crisis reach out to your local crisis hotline. In Australia it is Lifeline 13 11 14. They are there to support you.

A Christmas Candle by Maria Lacey

A Christmas candle I light today,
May it bring an abundance of love your way.
Those in our hearts, no longer here.
May you feel their love, So true, so dear.
Today, I remember those here and there,
And count my blessings for the love we share.
You are the light and love within me,
Fond memories are stored for eternity.

Maria Lacey

Maria Lacey was born in Australia and has travelled extensively overseas being led by visions, dreams and spiritual guidance. The author of a personal and spiritual memoir, One Path, Many Lights. Maria writes about life (the human and spiritual path), the adversity, learning, musings, and triumphs. A successful entrepreneur with over 19 years in her own business, Maria humorously states, “I am my greatest case study.” Maria is a qualified Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Teacher, Meditation Teacher, Sound Healer, Channel, Author and Speaker. Maria feels passionate about restoring hope into the hearts of many. For further information about the author go to:

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