MapQuest your Holidays – 7 Roads to Peace

Take 3 deep breaths. This is one of the easiest, quickest ways to restore peace and sanity. You can do this anywhere and at anytime when you begin to feel stressed.

Go to work holiday party briefly – and then leave. You can use the rest of the evening doing something enjoyable and relaxing knowing no one from work will call.

Eliminate gift giving for those over 18.  This suggestion is only for those who are not energized by the shopping process. If this sounds too harsh even for you, consider giving cash instead of gifts, or telling the family you will be focusing on individual birthdays instead, in order to spread the gift giving experience through out the year.

Allow space for ALL of your feelings – not only joy. The constant message of “be merry” is not realistic for anyone.  Often times this mandate adds pressure to people who experience additional feelings of grief, loneliness and sadness during the holidays. For people who have experienced the loss of a loved one in the past year – or past 50 years, holiday times often include some grief and sadness. These feelings are just as important to recognize and as a wise child once said ( Collin circa 1993)  “When you miss someone they are always in your heart.”

Light a candle during dinner time. Candle light soothes all of us, and often times the candle light helps children stay calmer and at the table longer – as it feels like a special occasion.

Be mindful of why you may be eating or drinking more than usual.  If you notice you are overindulging, take a minute to check in with yourself and see how you are feeling. Are you trying to numb feeling anxious, lonely, sad or depressed? Could you talk with a trusted friend or practice some self care instead?

Reach out to someone who loved you as a child. Send a card, make a visit, or a telephone a friend, relative, teacher, camp counselor or scout leader who made a difference in your life – and tell them so!

This is a sacred time of year for many faith traditions through out the world. It is an opportunity to draw closer to a higher power and each other. Hopefully these tips can help you navigate the holiday frenzy while practicing self care, slowing down and making space for the sacred in your life.