We are heading into the season of insanity. A lot of my clients are sitting and discussing their feeling of sadness and dread at what lies ahead. I tell them that a lot of people hate the holidays and feel awful about it. The problem is that the pressure to overextend yourself is everywhere. You are supposed to smile and be full of holiday cheer while you are over spending, attending parties with people you don’t particularly like, consuming too much sugar and alcohol, gaining weight, and enduring torturous travel gauntlets to spend time with relatives that remind you of who you used to be that you would just as soon forget. Ho, Ho, Ho.
This year I recommend that you schedule at least two “silent nights” during the season to save your sanity. Do it now, in advance. Consider them a sacred time out and protect them. You don’t have to tell anyone what you are doing. They might consider a night off sacrilegious. So if someone asks, tell them you are already “booked” that night. You are. You are spending the evening with yourself and perhaps someone special that you really want to be with.
Don’t go out, don’t buy or bake one more thing, don’t address cards or wrap presents, just cozy up, chill and be still. First of all, turn the television off. Light a fire or some candles and curl up with a blanket and watch the flames. Have a simple meal, like soup. If you are alone, fill a bathtub and soak. If you are with a lover, give the gift of touch and presence. Later on, look out at the stars, the snow, and the night. Reflect. Be grateful for the gifts of your life, the ones that can’t be bought in stores. Let the chaos continue out there. Find an island of sanity and locate your quiet center. This is sacred time and in it you will find your peace on earth.