The frantic rush of shopping, with tempers flaring over lack of parking spaces and erratic driving as people’s minds are elsewhere.
It seems that nearly every social event is awash with alcohol and this contributes to the scattered feeling.
It’s an emotional time of year at the best of times, with the Summer Solstice and the busyness of winding up school and work projects, Christmas or end of year parties.
The overload of food, laden in fat and sugar places stress on our physical bodies, whilst the overload of social events with the expectation of presents and gaiety overload our emotional bodies. The assault on our senses of tinsel and lights and constant caroling put further strain on sensitive souls.
Family functions are fraught with dangers. Long suppressed slights and perceptions can erupt into nastiness after the throat has been well lubricated with alcohol. To be an interested and disassociated observer at these social functions takes a lot of effort, but can have its own reward in feeling a sense of peace, finding an oasis of calm in the maelström of emotion that swirls about.
So how to go about surviving this time of year?
Choose to simplify – everything.
If buying presents has become a financial strain – set a price limit, organize a Kris Kringle with the family, suggesting that this way each person gets a quality present, and not something that ends up in that secret gift cupboard or drawer to be recycled to someone else.
Alternatively, announce that you are buying each person a charity donation which will help someone less fortunate.
E-cards are not the same as the paper ones, but a handy standby for the last minute seasons greetings. There are now online options where you can choose a card which are printed with your message and posted out when your order is completed.
Pick and choose your events. If you are an empath (someone who picks up others emotional states), make a brief appearance and make your apologies as early as possible. Difficult to do with family events, but at these if you can make yourself busy with serving food & clearing the tables, you will be able to extricate yourself from most emotionally laden conversations and observe.
Choose the least rich foods and avoid heavy, fatty food or sugary concoctions which will stress your liver. The festive ham is loaded with nitrates as are most cured meats. Avoid pasta, rice or potato salads if they have sat out for a while as they can cause stomach upsets. The festive puddings, such as Pavlovas, fruit mince tarts and shortbreads are laden with sugar & fats.
Research shows that a diet high in sugar results in premature aging and for blokes, a high fat diet has a negative effect on your reproductive system.
If the food is served as a buffet, you will have greater control over the food you put on your plate and the portion sizes.
Being summer, there is a greater chance of a range of salads included in the meal, so head for those and enjoy the rewards of not feeling bloated.
If your host insists on serving the meal, ask for a smaller sized portion for health reasons.
Find some time for yourself
Even a 5 or 10 minute walk or meditation will help out.
Avoid the alcohol and/or the Valium to keep your head clear.
Rather than react, observe the conversations and behaviours.
Being aware of illnesses or conditions that family members have and looking up Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body, allows you to see them in a different perspective.
For instance, the person with constant aches is probably longing for love or to be held or the one with tics or twitches is bound by fear and a feeling of being watched or judged by others.
The elderly gentleman with prostate problems may have mental fears about his masculinity, sexual pressure or guilt or a belief in aging.
The relative with the knee problems may be experiencing stubborn pride and ego and has an inability to bend and certainly won’t give in. They almost certainly will have a bit of fear with that inflexibility.
Another relative with vertigo may be experiencing scattered thinking or a refusal to look at their lifestyle, whilst the child who constantly sulks in the corner may just be overwhelmed by the anxiety projected bythe adults who are unable to trust the flow and process of life.
Yet another relative with chronic shoulder problems has lost the ability to experience life joyously. They are making life a burden for themselves. The family alcoholic is laden with guilt, inadequacies and self rejection and the overweight members of the family hide their anger at being denied emotional nourishment.
Feel gratitude for something that the event or these people can bring to your life. Feel the grace and peace that comes with regular gratitude moments.