What’s Missing During the Holidays?
Updated: Nov 21
You’re missing a world that’s trying to reach you when you’re lost in the busyness of the Holidays.
This is a season that promotes peace, love and joy. However, being lost in the busyness of it means you miss all that goodness while you’re stressed about whether the dinner will come out alright, whether you bought the right presents or trying to squeeze the time in for either one.
“The difficulty of describing things for Western ears is that people in a hurry cannot feel.” — Alan Watts
What does the above quote mean? Of course busy people can feel. It’s just what they’re feeling is not reflective of their true nature.
It’s when they’re feeling rushed, disorganized, unsure, stuck, lost, etc. All those things are not our true nature. We’re the only living creatures who actually live this way.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu
And let’s face it, the Holiday Season can easily be a busy time with so many details to think about. It can easily pull us into stress and overwhelm if we allow ourselves to be affected by what’s around us.
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What is Stress?
How often do you hear people talking about how stressed they are at work, or that they’re overwhelmed with juggling a home/work/life balance?
The way we talk about stress these days leads people to believing that it’s just another one of those things we fall victim to. We’re taught it’s something happening to us, not because of us.
Stress tends to be something we blame. If this thing weren’t happening in our lives we wouldn’t be stressed. The thing outside of us is the reason for the stress.
Is that really what it is though?
We’ve been conditioned throughout our lives to blame outside sources for most of our woes, whether it’s our health, emotions or behaviours. The rest of our woes we blame ourselves for. Being steeped in blame keeps us simmering in resentment, victimhood, shame or guilt.
None of this leads to peaceful, happy Holidays.
These are some of the things we’re missing when we get lost in the busyness of life and especially around the Holiday Season.
When we’re too stressed to notice how we’re responding (in traffic, to the cashier, the other shoppers, etc)
When we’re too rushed to pay attention to how it’s affecting others around us (the look on the cashiers face, the elderly shopper who was bumped around, etc.)
When we’re too unconscious to be aware of how the stress is affecting us (we’re drinking or eating more to cover up the stress, unable to move forward and feeling depressed, etc.)
When we’re not aware we have a choice
Let’s face it, living on Earth is par for the course of riding waves of rough storms and gentle seas. However, there are ways we can ease our way through the rough spots.
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” — Socrates
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What Does Stress Cost Us?
Stress and overwhelm contribute to a host of health issues. Over 70% of Americans report that they regularly experience physical and psychological symptoms of stress.
Physical Health Issues
During the Holiday Season with all the festive meals and drinks being in stress can only exacerbate further health issues because we don’t tend to make the best choices for our bodies when we’re caught up in the busyness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress that's not dealt with can lead to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.” They also say, “Getting sick easier due to a weaker immune system”.
Mental Health Issues
Over the Holidays it seems that people just expect everyone to be festive. It's pretty difficult to do that when you’re feeling anxious, restless or depressed.
The Mayo Clinic lists anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, memory problems, overwhelm, grumpiness or anger and depression or anxiety as common mental health issues accompanying stress.
Some common signs of being lost in busyness or stress can be, unable to move forward, exercising less, overeating or undereating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol misuse or avoiding gatherings with family and friends.
Exercise and social gatherings can help release stress, however the very things that could help are avoided because when we’re lost or stuck it can be difficult to take any step forward alone.
The Holiday Season can bring back memories that can be difficult to feel again. Some examples could be, the death of a close family member or friend, a break up or divorce, a job loss or maybe growing up with unhappy scenarios which come up again every year.
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“We stay so busy that the truth of our lives can’t catch up.” — Brené Brown
It could greatly benefit us to view stress for what it really is.
Stress is a series of thoughts, feelings and behaviours in response to an event that occurs or comes up in our lives. Some people even live by it as a badge of honour as it somehow elevates them to being super productive.
In reality, there’s a sense of feeling lost in the busyness, overwhelmed by too many things to do and that leads to being unable to move forward. That’s when we are stuck and nothing gets done to the perfection we hope to live up to. Then we’re flooded by a whole cascade of other feelings that keep us from being our true selves.
When was the last time you felt cared for, seen, and nourished… body, mind and soul?
This is the truth of our lives, how we truly give to each other. Our gift to the world over the Holiday Season could be to remember who we really are and give that to the people around us and beyond us.
If you want:
More respect from others, then be respectful of yourself and others.
More care from others, then be caring of yourself and others.
Acknowledgement for who you are and what you do, then be that acknowledgment for yourself and others.
Encouragement for your dreams, then be encouraging to yourself and others.
Thoughtfulness from others, then be thoughtful towards yourself and others.
Start with yourself, then you’ll have more to spread around this Holiday Season.
Sending you peace, love and joy this Holiday Season.
Be sure to download your copy of "The Busy-less Holiday Guide" here.
Also, I'd like to invite you to join my Facebook group called "Releasing the Busyness of Life" for tips, ideas and offerings through community sharing.