Holiday Prescription

December 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

Here we are, smack in the middle of the holiday season. It’s still hard for me to register 50 degrees as a December day, but as I’m writing this it’s 4:15 and the sun has already gone down, so it must be true. In just a week the days start getting longer again, and we’re about to step into the year 2011.

This month-plus of holidays — Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, New Year’s — is a tricky time. It can be a reminder to cherish family and friends, and to enjoy and appreciate all the blessings we have in our lives. It also can become a time of painful self-evaluation, or a sad time when we feel our losses even more acutely than usual. For most of us, it’s a mixture of these things.

Whichever holidays you celebrate, or ignore, I have 3 prescriptions for you:

First, give yourself permission to really enjoy what you enjoy about the holidays, and to dump as much as you can that feels like obligation. It’s really okay if you don’t do everything, or if it doesn’t look the way it’s “supposed” to.

Second, be gentle with yourself and leave some time for the things that nourish you most — even, and especially, when you feel too busy. No matter how well things are going, everyone has some tender spots this time of year, and we need our friends, yoga, dancing, meditation, art, long hot baths, you-name-it, at least as much as we ever do.

Third, and perhaps most important: evaluate your life some other day. If you’re not satisfied with your family situation, or you think you should have accomplished more this year professionally, or whatever — be kind to the pain you feel, but don’t try to analyze and fix everything right now. January’s plenty soon enough, if you want to make some changes. For now, just relax into the next few weeks and find joy wherever you can find it.

And, if I don’t see you between now and then — best wishes for a peaceful, joyous beginning to 2011!

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Entry filed under: Seasonal Advice, Uncategorized. Tags: .

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