It’s December! And you know what that means… The holidays are upon us !I know some people who love the holiday season and others who loath it. I have mixed feelings about it — sometimes I’m totally into it, and other times not so much. This year is different, it will be less social and for that reason, I’m looking forward to having some quiet time to reflect and go within. Some people are faced with missing loved ones while others are content to have it less busy. There is so much to love about the holidays and an abundance of joy to celebrate and share. It can be on Zoom, one-on-one at a safe distant or just through the simple act of expressing your love. The smell of a Christmas tree, the taste of a decadent eggnog latte, and the feeling you get as you’re warming up in front of a crackling fire are the simple things that can make this holiday special.
The holiday season often comes to us with mixed emotions. This year it comes with a whole new set of challenges. How can we make the best of this Covid holiday season? It’s a time to be mindful of self-care and managing stress. The holiday will be different for many. Normally, during such a hectic season, it can be a challenge to focus our attention on the present moment and appreciate everything around us. Here are a few ways you can begin the process:
PRACTICE GRATITUDE. No matter what is going on in the world or how stressed you may feel, there is always something that you can be grateful for. Gratitude helps bring your mind to the present moment and to the things that are important in your life.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS. Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. If you’re missing a departed loved one, it’s natural to feel sad. Or, due to Covid, certain family members can’t make it home for the holidays, it’s okay to feel disappointed. Allow yourself to feel the way you do at that moment — and then let the feeling pass. Keep connected with loved ones and ask for help if you need it.
LET GO OF PERFECTION. Many of us can be so focused on wanting the holidays to be perfect that we don’t enjoy the season when our expectations aren’t met. Let go of what you think it should be, and enjoy it for what it is. This year will be different and when you make the best of the circumstances you are faced with, it just might turn out to be better than you ever expected.
For some of us, the holiday season is the perfect occasion to unwind and take time off from work, while for others it’s time to party. Clearly, with less socializing, some are faced with more time on your hands that can leave you feeling isolated. For this reason, self-care is even more important for making it effortless to cope and stay emotionally healthy. It’s easy to over-eat, over-drink and overdo things in general. But with a little self-management, including and taking time out, we can enjoy the holidays so that we end the year feeling healthy, rested and ready for another fresh start.
Throughout the month of December, try to consciously create moments of calm amidst whatever madness may be around you. The philosophy of the haiku way provides a simple approach to our everyday experiences and can create a safe space of calm and tranquility. Take time out during this holiday season to be in the moment and embrace all the good and not so good that comes with it.
How has 2020 impacted you?
When the Covid virus took over the world, our lives were turned upside down. In the midst of fear, grief and many unknowns there have been silver linings. Slowing down and connecting with nature is one of the gifts during this time. Haiku poetry offers the still-point to help us heal.
What is your silver lining from 2020?
Yes, to forego the tough part of 2020 and to welcome 2021 with a smile.
Haikai has helped me a lot in keeping me engaged and making me think of all the beautiful little things of creation!
Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that the simplicity and beauty of haiku has helped. It’s the small things!