Holidays are not Fun for Everyone…
For most of us, the holiday season is a joyful time to spend with family and friends. We enjoy some retail therapy, are lavished with gifts from loved ones, and have an excuse to eat rich foods that know we have no damn business eating. Our otherwise empty social calendars tend to be full around holiday time, giving us something to be excited about. Everything is decorated in bright reds, silvers and sparkly golds, and everywhere you go smells like peppermint lattes and fresh pine. There is a palpable sense of merriment in the atmosphere that we can all feel.
But for some people, the November through January holiday season is the most miserable time of the year. Difficult family relationships and loss of loved ones create toxic stress and unbearable loneliness at holiday time. It is alarming how many people fight depression during the holiday season; their despair is often carefully hidden behind waxy smiles and chemical substances that get them through the holiday office potlucks and constant inquiries into their holiday plans.
It is possible to survive the holiday season no matter what you may be going through. It may be difficult, but you can get through it! Here are some tips for getting through Thanksgiving—New Year’s Eve without losing your mind.
If Your Family is a Hot Mess:
Do your family’s holiday dinners look like an episode of The Jerry Springer show? Perhaps it is the opposite: A frosty holiday dinner with forced conversation and enough denial that you could cook the turkey in everyone’s collective repressed anger? Please don’t feel ashamed if you can relate to either of these scenarios, as you are in good company. So many people have painful, unhealthy relationships with their families, and the holidays are a platform for a family’s dysfunction to be on full display. It’s enough to make some people skip out on holiday events all together.
As with all things, there is a spiritual reason for family dysfunction: Relationships with relatives can be difficult and emotionally charged due to Karma and the soul’s Birth Plan. Groups of souls tend to incarnate together over multiple lifetimes. They often choose to take on difficult roles to help themselves or another group member to evolve, or to allow a past wrong (during their previous lifetimes) to be corrected (Karma). This is why there can be so much tumult between relatives.
While these experiences are painful, you and these other souls chose this path as an opportunity to heal. If you don’t heal, you will have to deal with the same family member again in your next lifetime too, and who’s got time to go through nonsense more than once? I know I don’t! Try your best to enter into forgiveness during this holiday season. Forgiveness is not for the benefit of other person, it is for your benefit. Whether you choose to attend your family’s holiday events or plan to sit them out, try the meditation in this post: A Meditation for Forgiveness.
How to Get Through a Rough Holiday Event:
If you’re going to be brave and attend a potentially difficult holiday event, Wild Purple Energy has some products that could help. I recommend the Protection product line if your family is toxic. Use Protection Aura Spray to help deflect any haterade that your family might direct towards you. If you need to keep your own fear and anxiety at bay, try the Grounding or Balancing product lines.
Directions for Using the Aura Spray
I recommend using your Aura Spray as follows: 1. Before you leave the house 2. In the car before you walk-in. 3. Once during the event. 4. One time just after the holiday event ends. If there were any heated arguments, if your family members over consumed alcohol or drugs, or you spent significant time with a family member that is clinically depressed, go home and take a salt bath or foot bath to get any negative energy you may have collected off of you. Click here to check out our Emotional Clearing Bath Salts, or make your own.
Dealing with Toxic Family Members
- Set Your Intention Beforehand. Decide that you are not going to get into an argument with “Uncle So-and-So” this time. Make a plan for how you are going to greet this person, and try to avoid them if possible.
- Use Your Breath. Decide that you will take a deep breath before responding to any ingratitude that might come your way. Do you really have to clap back when your auntie criticizes the potato salad that you brought? No you don’t. You may want to, but breathe deeply before you respond. The power of the breath will clear your head and help you stay balanced and in kindness.
- Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Kind? If taking a deep breath doesn’t calm your ire, ask yourself if your comments passes the truth, necessity, and kindness test. If it doesn’t, simply say: “I can’t think of anything nice to say, so I’m going to say anything,” or “I’m sorry you don’t like my potato salad but I think your dressing is delicious.” You know your auntie’s dressing tastes like funky toe jam on toast, but you catch more flies with honey…so lie to her to keep the peace. Besides, if your auntie is really a meanie, your kindness (positive energy) will throw her off and might make her just uncomfortable enough to clam up for once!
- Eat and Run. Sometimes you just need to make an appearance at a family event out of respect. Once you have done that, you can bounce without offending too many people. Arrive 20-30 minutes before dinner is supposed to be served: this will give you enough time to greet each family member and spend a few minutes with the ones you get along with. Stay 30 minutes after dinner, and make up an excuse for why you have to get going. Take your dessert with you and get out of there!
If You’ve Lost a Loved One
This is the hardest situation to get through during holiday time. My heart goes out to you if you have found yourself facing a holiday without your spouse, child, sibling or dearest friend. This subject warrants its own post: Grief and Loss During the Holidays.
When to Throw in the Towel
I believe that family is one of the most important aspects of human life. However, there’s a time to hold ’em and a time to fold ’em. If your family is very toxic or if you have to spend time with someone who has abused you, then its time to find other options for holiday celebrations. You don’t need all of that negative energy in your life. Check out my post Friendsgiving: A New Concept for the Holidays for fun and healthy ways to spend the holidays.