Shopping, parties, consuming, baking, oh my! Overbooked and overwhelmed is often the way the holiday season goes. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Consumerism and FOMO (fear of missing out) need not dictate our holiday season/winter this year. We get to choose: what we participate in, our daily rhythm and party schedule, our attitude, our gift purchasing, what we focus on. It is empowering to come to a point of recognition that just because we have done things a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it need be our future.
Winter is naturally a time of reflection and hibernation. Historically, winter celebrations were gatherings focused on fire/lights (to stay warm and in remembrance that the light would return) and shared food (communal abundance and providing for those without), full of love, joy, community, and beauty. These days the holidays stress most people out. We come out the other side with a sense of relief that it is over. I want to encourage all of us to make different choices this year that support connection, peace, and joy.
In TCM winter is associated with the water element. I tend to see a lot of imbalance in the kidney meridian this time of year as we overcommit and give too much of ourselves resulting in kidney yin depletion. What can you do to help? Yin practices! Mindfulness, time in nature, adorning oneself and seeing the beauty all around, journaling, artistic expression, experiencing joy, laughter, music, deep connection.
Here are a few things to consider:
Attend the parties and events that fill your cup
Take time for extra rest and contemplation as needed
Acts of service – how can you give back to your loved ones and community?
Indulge – a little celebration for another year’s completion
Overcommit – it can cause burnout and resentment – learn when to say no and stick to it
Overindulge – we are a society of all or nothing – find the moderate path
Overspend – ah, consumerism – buy, buy, buy is our cultures motto – we can choose to do the holidays differently
Override your internal need to connect with the rhythm of winter – slow down, rest more
I wish you and yours a beautiful winter and holiday season full of love, joy, and connection.