By Jenna Avery, CLC,
for Sensitive Souls
The holiday season is full of challenges – difficult
family members, stressful shopping, and seemingly endless holiday
parties, to name a few. Sensitive Souls often find the holidays
even more stressful than our less-sensitive friends. We easily
pick up the emotions and expectations of others. Since so many
people get depressed around the holidays, we’re more
susceptible to depression ourselves. This means we have to
practice extra self-care and go into the holidays with open
Ideally, the holidays are beautiful, rich, and warm. Here
are strategies to stay connected to the essence of holiday
1. Connect spiritually with the season. Honor the rituals
you love and let go of the rest. If you enjoy hosting events
or decorating, focus your attention there. Then do it with
love! Create a sacred space for your work – light candles,
play special music, or drink seasonal beverages. Imbue your
efforts with reverence and full presence.
2. Honor the rejuvenating aspects of
winter. Consider hibernating
animals as your guides! Take the time to honor winter darkness
as a time of retreat. Go within to rest, renew, and regenerate.
Drink nurturing teas, take baths, and focus on your favorite
self-care rituals. I love candles, fires, fairy lights, music,
and as much coziness as I can comfortably create.
3. Allow generous quantities of downtime. Know your limits
for socializing with friends and family. For instance, if spending
the day with family is stressful for you, don’t plan
anything that evening or the next day. During the holidays,
when I attend at least three daylong events with family during
one week, I take a week off between Christmas and New Year’s
Day to recuperate. And, I usually spend New Year’s Eve
at home with my sweetie.
4. Prepare yourself wisely. When
you engage with the world or visit others, take extra time
to center yourself, through
meditation or gentle exercise. Plan ahead what you’ll
wear, have your gifts wrapped, and consider what you need to
bring along. In times of greater stress like these, allow generous
time for yourself. Consider having supportive tools at hand,
like flower essences. Bach Flower’s Rescue
Remedy and Mustard are helpful for stress and addressing
depression. Flower Essence Services' Yarrow blocks energy
and emotions from others. I always
wear a necklace
made with obsidian and hematite to ground and protect me
from the energies of others.
5. Go easy on the gifts and shopping. Be
generous with yourself when it comes to shopping. Remember,
it’s the spirit
of the holidays and giving that counts, not the price tag on
the present. Planning ahead helps. I once devised a strategy
to buy gifts locally and traveled using side streets only.
Another year I gave myself permission to buy online and spend
a little extra on shipping and gift wrapping. Although I love
to make gifts, I let it go unless I can complete them at least
a couple weeks before giving them. What a relief! No extra
6. Be gracious to your body. During the holiday season we
often give ourselves license to eat, drink, and be merry with
less than supportive foods for our sensitive bodies. Be sure
to drink plenty of water, which is centering and cleansing.
Sugar, alcohol, and caffeine all increase overstimulation,
so go easy on them. Your body will thank you later.
7. Be ready for your family. Prepare yourself mentally for
family challenges. Often we know what to expect but try to
pretend it won’t occur. While you’re at it, open
your mind to consider alternatives. Is it possible to shift
the energy of engagement with your family in a new direction?
Enlist support from like-minded family members and project
positive interpretations on difficulties when you can.
8. Use the power of visualization. Practice energy skills
like grounding, clearing, and shielding to keep you well balanced.
You can practice these skills even in the middle of stressful
moment. To ground and protect yourself, place your feet firmly
on the floor, and imagine anchoring a vibrantly colored cord
of energy from the base of your spine to the center of the
earth. Now let a pure crystal rain cleanse negative energy
and wash it down the cord into the earth to be recycled. Draw
clean earth energy up through your feet into your body. Feel
the stable earth energy supporting you and grounding you. Imagine
filling your energy field with beautiful, purplish-white and
silvery light and putting a strong, solid shield of reflective
silver around you. Let this light and shield feel like you
are enveloped in a thick, comforting blanket. Set the intention
for the shield to deflect any negativity that comes in your
direction by transforming it to love.
9. Come home to heal. When you do come home, take the time
to augment your efforts by taking an Epsom salts bath. This
is a must-do for Sensitive Souls who’ve been exposed
to intense holiday energies and emotions. Fill a bathtub with
hot water and add four generous handfuls of Epsom salts with
ten drops of lavender or rose oil. Soak for about 20 minutes,
and be sure to shower to rinse away the salt water, which can
dry your skin. Candles and soul-soothing music are good, too.
Above all, practice excellent self-care and remember to enjoy
yourself. May your holidays be filled with peace and your spirit
Copyright 2004-2011, Jennifer Avery, All rights reserved.
Jenna Avery is a highly sensitive coach and intuitive who specializes in guiding sensitive souls to find a deep sense of inner rightness within themselves so they are inspired to step forward and shine. Jenna is a Certified Life Coach based in Berkeley, California. She can be reached at 510.984.3474. You’re invited to take her free online assessment: "Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?" on her website at www.highlysensitivesouls.com.
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