5 Tools for Emotional Resilience This Holiday Season
It’s that time of year when moods are high and inhibitions go out the window (well for some)! That extra mince pie seems like a great idea, washed down with some extra wine! Spending goes through the roof (hopefully not Santa). Not to mention all the stress and strife that comes with what is supposed to be “a season to be jolly”. Are you feeling jolly?
For some people this time of year is exciting and fun with a buzzing social calendar and room in those trousers for a few extra kilos. For others it’s a real challenge trying to keep up with the hustle, causing anxiety, stress and overwhelm. I remember for me, I would always start some kind of diet a few months before Christmas, with the intention of using it as a way to prevent over indulging. Of course I would always fail, the chocolate tins were too tempting. Thank goodness that pattern has been busted now. Perhaps you resonate and have implemented some healthy habits just in time for the holiday season! And perhaps the thought of losing control of these habits and behaviours may cause worry; it’s so darn tempting to dip into the chocolate or cheese fondant.
All of our limits are pushed this time of year, leaving many different emotions as a result.
1. Introducing this Stress Busting Tool:
When you are in a high-stress situation, everything in your mind will seem much bigger than it is in reality, this is called high arousal and switches on your stress system. So if you turn something of a molehill into a mountain, now you know why. If you have any worries or fears popping up, follow this little trick:
- Find a quiet space and allow your eyes to wonder around so it’s like you’re waking them up from concentrating all day. Look left, right, up, down, round and round
- Gently move your eyes from left to right simultaneously
- Pick up the speed of movement and do 6 sets, back and forth (left and right) fast as you can
- Take a breath in and out
- Notice how you feel
- Still feeling tense?
- How are you feeling?
This technique activates the parasympathetic nervous systems and gently brings your emotions back into balance.
2. Use this Fear Buster Technique:
What might you be worried about during this season?
Fear that you’re losing control of your daily routine? Fear of putting on weight? Fear of not being able to say “no” to an invitation in case people might judge you? Fear of being lonely? Fear that the turkey won’t cook properly? Fear of not having enough money to keep up? These are just a few examples of the stressors that may be accumulating, leaving you feeling anxious and stressed.
An effective technique to reduce fear over the holiday season is to practice mindful grounding. Amidst the festive chaos, take moments to reconnect with the present. Engage your senses by focusing on the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around you. Notice your feet on the floor and how the ground supports you safely.
This technique helps anchor your mind in the current moment, diminishing the power of fear associated with future uncertainties or overwhelming situations. By intentionally bringing attention to your immediate surroundings, you create a mental space that promotes calmness, making it easier to navigate the holiday season with a sense of control and inner equilibrium.
3. Reduce Social Anxiety:
Submodalities are a great way of changing your internal representation (fear) to a scenario or situation which may be trigger social anxiety. When you imagine a particular social scenario in your head, such as going to a party or gathering; notice the size of yourself compared to the size of the people in the scenario. For instance, if you imagine feeling small and uneasy in a crowd of unfamiliar faces, mentally adjust your height to be taller and more imposing. When you imagine the scenario in your mind, notice your body language compared to the other people around you. In your mind, increase your height, picture yourself to be much taller and bigger than you appear to be and into proportion with everyone else. Stand in a way that gives you confidence, pull your shoulders back and hold your head up. By visualising this empowered posture before heading to a social event, you can enhance your confidence and reduce social anxiety.
If you feel emotionally overwhelmed or sense anxiety creeping in, use the Stress Busting technique to bring your emotions into balance. It works really well for anxiety and panic.
4. Alleviate Weight Gain Worries:
If you’re concerned about your schedule filling up as much as your waistband, consider making a commitment to yourself to enjoy food and drink without the aftermath of self-sabotage. Whether it’s skipping a starter or dessert, remind yourself of the control you possess and the victorious feeling that follows. I understand it’s easier said than done (trust me, I know!) but picture the positive outcome of maintaining control. If you happen to go over the threshold, show yourself some compassion. Negative self-talk is counterproductive and won’t be helpful the next day; it might even trigger a binge.
It’s crucial to release any guilt about what you’ve consumed and forgive yourself if you indulged a bit too much. What’s done is done, and dwelling on it won’t help. Us humans can be so tough on ourselves and holding onto regret is like a prison sentence. Once you’ve got over your sulk, focus on the positive achievements you’ve made in the past and of course, if you need any assistance in breaking those pesky habits in the new year, I have an awesome system that works really well for breaking emotional eating patterns!
5. Grief and Loss
If you’ve experienced grief, or the loss of someone or animal you deeply care about, grant yourself the freedom to experience your emotions authentically. Resist the urge to suppress any feelings; instead, let your body naturally process them. Emotions are meant to flow through you, and allowing their release is crucial for healing. If an emotion becomes trapped, it can contribute to increased stress and anxiety in your mind and body. Prioritising the release of these emotions is a vital aspect of self-care and healing.
Light a candle. Write a letter. Talk to yourself with compassion. Be kind to yourself. Express yourself in any way you like. Ask if you need some company, and most importantly remember that it is ok to show a bit of vulnerability. People can be compassionately supportive when we show a little vulnerability.
For any emotional overwhelm, please follow my Stress Buster Technique as rapid eye movement is extremely effective at re-balancing emotions when feelings of grief and loss are activated.
In addition, some affirmations will make you feel better. You can repeat them to make you feel good inside like a glass of mulled wine or a warm cup of tea:
- I release any thoughts of what I lack and focus instead on all that I have
- I love and appreciate all the parts of myself
- I let go of any guilt at all times
- I am responsible for how I feel and can bring positivity into my life
- I always have the best of intentions
- I recognise and listen when a part of me is trying to get my attention
- My emotions are calm and flowing
- I come from my center of peace at all times
- I release my feelings and feel balanced in my emotions
- I am open to receive love in all its forms
- I deserve the best possible life and I have it
- I deserve joy and I am open to receive it
- I support the success and happiness of everyone I know
- I allow myself to feel what I need to feel
- I focus on what I am doing well
- I am my own best friend
In the meantime, if you want to keep yourself sane over the holiday period; restore your equilibrium with my FREE 3 part video series on Rapid Anxiety Relief, where I guide you with 6 unique tools to relieve anxiety and stress during this crazy time!
Be good to yourself.
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