Difficult for many to survive, Halloween (candy season) has now passed and we are entering the trenches of holiday season, which seems to evoke equal amounts of pleasure and pain for most.
With plenty of reason, the pressures of life in general are enough to bog us down with worry and annoyance, doubly-so when planning for festivities, gatherings and being around family and friends we are able to avoid more readily at other times of the year. I really want my patients to feel empowered and ideally have a few tools at their disposal for use in the "real world". Coming in for acupuncture treatment is one of the best ways to hit the proverbial "reset" button on your body. Acupuncture reduces inflammation, releases endorphins, balances the body and encourages true healing from the inside out. Also, our treatment rooms are cozy and warm - and you can get a nice relaxing nap in. I assure you that whatever is looming outside of the treatment room can wait an hour.
There will always be pressures in life, holi-DAZE or not - in addition to certain people in our world that we may not be fond of - people we may downright despise! I'm not a big fan of dwelling in the negative - (sometimes the train passes through there, but I don't get derailed at those stops) BUT - it's as important to acknowledge, feel and process the negative in our lives as much as the positive. Indeed, there are parts of ourselves that we probably do not like. Sometimes there are parts of ourselves that we deny or do not accept. Parts of us we are ashamed of. Self-awareness is recognizing and observing those parts of ourselves - and our feelings - and our actions - MINUS judgement. Preferably observing with love and appreciation (though this can be very challenging!). Using this technique, you can choose to react and respond from a place of authenticity vs. reckless abandon (while maybe fun on vacation, perhaps not the BEST successful life technique). So - how the heck does this relate to surviving holiday madness? Observe the perceived madness/craziness of others - but from more of a detached and non-reactive place - their actions - their stress - do not need to influence your mood, your actions or your response. You can choose to celebrate or not. And you can choose to participate at the depth you are willing to go to.
Easier said than done. There are likely a myriad of emotions and feelings that come up when even just THINKING about the holidays. First: BREATHE! For more info on that, see this blog post on breathing. Second, what are you feeling and where are you feeling it? In your head? Chest? Gut? General tension? This is the mind-body connection and demonstrates why in Traditional Chinese Medicine, separating physical symptoms from emotions is just not possible. Next, really get in touch with the feelings that come up for you. Feelings are like waves - they come and go. If you sit with them, I guarantee they will pass in a few minutes. From there, you have 1 of 2 choices - and guess what? They are all directly within YOUR control. You can choose to alter your reaction to things that previously annoyed or bothered you, or you can choose to physically not participate. If this brings up feelings of guilt, I would really suggest following up and exploring that as well.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments. To explore these ideas on a more personal level, consider coming in for an appointment. Here's to your emotional AND physical health! - Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist at Bluegrass Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine.
About the Author:
Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist, currently practicing in the gorgeous, horse capital of the world: Lexington, Kentucky.