Much like a tornado, the storm of overwhelm can rage up from nowhere and blow you off your feet. Much like a hurricane the emotions and energy that occur when we are near our breaking point are powerful and chaotic. Becoming in tune with our feeling – emotional, physical, and spiritual – is a crucial balancing mechanism providing the early warning signal that tells us things are mounting up. As with intense weather systems, it is critical that we prepare: we must find that balance before the emotional storm takes over.
The holiday season is a time to become extra alert for these imbalances. It’s already a time when so much to do starts to pile up, perhaps grief over the loss of a loved one weighs heavily on you, last-minute things at work occur, and the drivers on the road have somehow lost their sanity and appear to be on a speedway. Somewhere in there, you know you can handle all of it. Then you forget that you volunteered to host the breakfast for your friends, and the holiday cards you stashed away are nowhere to be found. Whaaaaatttttttt???!?!?!?!?!
More and more buildup can appear, seemingly out of nowhere, and before you know it, you’’ve exploded into the center of an emotional maelstrom. This is where peeling back and finding time to slow down and reenergize your spirit become an integral part of your daily routine, especially during winter when colds and flu, along with lingering Covid, feel like they’re waiting to pounce on you. Nurturing your mind and body is the best defense you can offer yourself, and to monitor all of it you must be your own tuning fork and your own weather vane.
This is the time to be your own best friend. We all need to treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. Be realistic about what you can do and what is possible in the amount of time you have. Does something need to get deleted from the list? Learn to self-advocate when you need something instead of waiting for for others to offer assistance. There is nothing wrong in asking a loved one to bring side dishes to the family get-together vs. assuming they should ask you. Drop that way of thinking. That’s just fuel to the emotional fire that may already be burning.
Honestly, this is the best way to live every day and not just during the holidays. It’s just that the heightened state of the season makes it even more important during that time.
Use your words wisely, especially to yourself. Use your ears without cotton stuffed in them to avoid miscommunications. Open your heart – to yourself.
Remember: even the worst storm will seem calm when you’re in the eye. Preparing yourself by being aware of your feelings is how you survive all the emotional weather.