How To Maintain Spiritual Wellness During The Holidays – Strategies From 8 Bloggers

With the rush of the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the rhythm that has become the norm in our culture. We’ve come to expect the impossible from ourselves.

Non-stop shopping for just the right Christmas gifts, attending an endless stream of parties, entertaining at home, out of town guests, late nights, early mornings – the list goes on.how to maintain spiritual wellness

And you are expected to do all of these activities with a smile on your face.

Not possible. Unless you make the effort – with intent – to implement specific practices that will help you maintain spiritual wellness during the holidays. 

In an earlier post, I shared my Morning Routine. It helps me get grounded first thing in the morning and is a place I return to – as my spiritual baseline – throughout the day.

Since I don’t have to deal with the stress of the holiday season this year,  I have asked 8 outstanding bloggers, all respected in the field of health and/or personal development, to share their strategies for maintaining spiritual wellness during this hectic period.

Here’s what they have to say

“Holiday time, beginning right after Thanksgiving in the USA, is always a busy time. I am inundated with invitations to attend holiday networking events for business, charity fundraisers, year-end club dinners, parties at my church and more at this time of year. While it’s fun to be invited to all sorts of gatherings, be they for business or pleasure, it is overwhelming.

I have realized how draining it is for me to constantly have to be “on” when I am at a group function. While I am friendly and love meeting new people I am also highly sensitive to the emotions of the people I am around. I come away from these events feeling exhausted and many times will wake up feeling sick the next day.

So, as I’ve grown older I have finally found the power within myself to say, “No,” to many invitations I used to feel obligated to attend. Now I pick and choose, very carefully how I wish to expend my energy and time. I need a lot of down time to rejuvenate by meditating, resting, reflecting, reading, taking walks and writing in my journal. This is the sacred time that restores my soul and keeps me balanced and spiritually well during the holidays.”  Angela Artemis of Powered By Intuition

 

” My spiritual wellness practice around this time centers on spending as much time on my own as I can. My day begins with a period of meditation, journal writing and when possible a walk in nature in one of the parks near my home. I keep a daily gratitude diary and I take this time to read it and once again get truly present to all the goodness in and around my life. The Xmas holidays are a wonderful time to catch up with both my immediate family and also my huge, extended family.

Though we don’t as such celebrate Xmas from a religious perspective, we do have a big family gathering and spend Xmas Day with a gourmet vegetarian meal and the usual games and favorite TV seasonal shows. Finally, I always spend this festive time reflecting on my life and where I want to take it over the next 12 months. This time of self-nurturing and being around the family makes me aware once again of what’s really important in our lives – and I always end up with a very optimistic and upbeat picture of the year to come, both for myself personally, and for the world.” Arvind Devala of Make It Happen Club

 

“As an overachiever, my greatest challenge over the holidays is to make time for rest. Actually, that’s a challenge for me any time of year, but the holidays bring a host of expectations and commitments I don’t have otherwise. It’s easy to become exhausted. Taking a break for an overachiever, however, is easier said than done. I often become anxious at rest. I feel that I am somehow getting behind, as if life is a race where I must always be at the front of the pack. There are two ways I overcome these psychological barriers. One is to spend quite a bit of time each day outside. My natural instinct is to stay where it’s warm, but actually, some of my best memories have been in less than ideal weather, like touring an ancient stone circle in the pouring rain or dog-sledding in the frigid forests of Sweden. Even a walk in a nearby park can be surprisingly rejuvenating. My second strategy is to trick myself with simple, straightforward tasks, such as de-cluttering my office or helping my husband pull together a big meal. In this way, I still feel “productive” while giving my mind the rest it needs.”  Jen Gresham of Everyday Bright

 

“Staying spiritually healthy requires us, from time to time, to have a larger perspective than we tend to usually take—to expand our focus, to zoom out. For me, it requires me to let go of expectations and stand on top of the mountain, if you will, looking down at all aspects of my life and really just be an observer, rather than feeling that I must do anything.

To spend time each day in silence, true audible silence—the kind that can be blaringly loud at times and brings me face to face with both my own significance and insignificance at the same time. I literally envision myself zooming out, I’m standing in a forest, then I see just the forest, then I see the whole surrounding area, then I see the continent, then I see the world. I am an observer of what the Universe is playing out right in front of me, of the pure potential of possibility, of the abundance of my own existence.

Another spiritual practice I have is noticing, on a daily basis, the light as it streams down from the heavens. It might be sunlight streaming through a break in the clouds, or it may be the gray light of a rain storm. No matter its form, the beauty of light in it’s true form reminds me of the ever-changing face of the Universe. And no matter what I am doing at the time–running, washing the dishes, driving—I stop and say a word of gratitude for the abundance of beauty that it all around me.

Abundance. Gratitude. Perspective. BIG Perspective. ”  Dr. Erin Martin of TrueMedInstitute

 

“I love to continue my routines that help me stay focused and peaceful throughout the year, and to not lose sight of the underlying purpose of the holidays. While it is fun to enjoy the spirit of this time of year, it can be stressful to try and cope with all that is expected. The spirit of the holidays is about giving, so in that vein, this is a wonderful time to recognize and give to those who are less fortunate. I think about who has touched my life this past year and acknowledge them in some way that will bring them a little joy. Sharing experiences and appreciating the people in my life who I love is what keeps my spirit thriving during the holidays and throughout the year.” Cathy Taughinbaugh of CathyTaughinbaugh

 

“What exactly is “spiritual wellness?”  To me, it’s being true to your individual spirit, your True Self.  And how does one do that?  By being still enough to hear the whispers of your True Self and deeply knowing your own core values. Until you understand what your core values are, prioritize them and live them daily, you’ll live your life at the whim of others.  You’ll take things personally and worry about being accepted and liked.  You’ll wonder why you feel exhausted and can’t ever find happiness. Living your core values means putting your True Self first with compassion for others.  You love and accept yourself first and, therefore, don’t need that external validation from others.

Maintaining spiritual wellness during the holidays and the rest of the year means knowing what’s right for you and following that path.  If traditions don’t feel right to you, don’t feel compelled to follow them.  Create your own.  Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Feel compassion for those who try to guilt you into following their plans.  Their guilt comes from their own fears and insecurities about themselves.  It has nothing to do with you. How you choose to celebrate the holidays is very personal.  It’s up to you.  Get still.  Get quiet.  Listen to the whispers of your heart and follow them.  When you do, your holidays will be filled with heart-felt joy and true happiness.” Paige Burkes of Simple Mindfulness

 

“In a general sense I believe spiritual wellness is a state that creates an experience of meaning and connection in life. For me, it begins with self-compassion. Many years ago, a beloved mentor said to me, “If you treated others the way you treat yourself, you’d have no friends.” His words cut deep, but also woke me up to the harsh way I’d treated myself. I’ve found that we often need this kind of wake-up call to change the patterns and old beliefs that keep us from being our best.

I am most able to connect with spiritual wellness when I treat myself with kindness, and love the face I see in the mirror. This filter of self-compassion connects me to Source energy which then feeds my wellness in all ways, making it much easier to cherish others, and life itself. During the holidays it is often more challenging to make space for myself each day because there’s so much going on, and my routine can easily be disrupted. This makes it more important than ever to create structures I can stick to! At the start of the month, I blocked out time for myself each morning which helps keep me grounded. That time may be given to meditation, dancing, or walking the dog, the activity less important than the commitment to myself.

I have also begun the practice of asking myself “How do I want to feel today?” and then I do what it takes to follow through. It’s not always easy to nurture myself in the face of the seasonal demands, but it has to be a priority for me rather than an after-thought. When I take care of my spiritual wellness, I can more easily and willingly be there for others in a meaningful way.”  Sandi Amorim of Deva Coaching

 

My daily morning practice of painting, meditating, EFT(Emotional Freedom Technique), walking on the beach followed by a swim and then every evening writing in my gratitude journal are what keep my balance during the holiday season as well as every day. How do I fit these in I hear you ask? Firstly I have learned that when I put my wellbeing first I am healthier, happier and I feel good about me and my life, then I am so much more able to support my I do get up early, today was 4am, sometimes it is 5am, as my morning rituals are what maintain my spiritual wellness on a daily basis. If I find myself slipping in or as happens life takes over I use Hoóponopono with EFT to bring my balance back. I tap 3 rounds of I’m sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, Thank you. This will calm me and get me centered again. Suzie Cheel of  Heart Whisper

If you listen to the wise words of these fellow sojourners, you will feel less stressed and more mindful. The big payoff is that you will be able to enjoy the beauty and real meaning of this holiday season.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.. Would love to hear the strategies you use to help keep you balanced, calm, and filled with joy over the next couple of weeks.

About Fran

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is also a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender. All of her work is based on her deep belief that our need to connect to the earth is an inherent trait – and that by doing so, we heal and experience more joy in our lives.

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16 Responses to How To Maintain Spiritual Wellness During The Holidays – Strategies From 8 Bloggers

  1. vanita December 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    oh! i adore everyone’s way of dealing with the holidays and thanks for sharing it Fran, it’s so interesting to get a peak at what others do and gives us the opportunity to incorporate it into our own lives when needed. If I ever feel the holidays causing me stress, I know I can come back here to refresh myself with all the great advice. The holidays for me is really what the weekends are for many. Time to relax, get things done around the home and spend time with the family. Happy holidays to you Fran and all the awesome contributors.
    Vanita
    vanita recently posted…Sponsored Advertising 102: What to charge for ad spaceMy Profile

    • Fran December 24, 2013 at 2:49 am #

      Vanita-
      I’m so glad that you enjoyed the ‘WISE 8 BLOGGERS’ contributions. I find the way they choose to maintain their spiritual wellness inspirational. Not only do they offer terrific strategies but they act as a reminder that we do have CHOICES on how we walk through and experience these holidays. Wishing you and your beautiful family a healthy and joyful one. With gratitude for all that you do ~

  2. Cathy Taughinbaugh December 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Love these strategies, Fran. Thanks so much for sharing them all and including mine as well. It sounds like the key is to keep our routines going that help us stay centered, focused and to pay attention to what we need. When we make a little extra effort during the holidays, we can enjoy the true meaning and not feel overwhelmed. I always love hearing what helps other people. Take care.
    Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted…CRAFT Can Help Your Family Change: Meet Dr. Jeffrey FooteMy Profile

    • Fran December 24, 2013 at 2:46 am #

      Cathy –
      THANK YOU for contributing. We do have choices on how we ‘walk through our days’ – holidays or not. What I love about each of your contributions is that you make ‘self care’ a part of your spiritual practice. And being mindful is a part of that. Have a beautiful holiday!

  3. Vidya Sury December 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    How interesting, Fran. As I read through everyone’s spiritual practice, what stood out for me was self-care….a focus on self. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot function to our full potential.

    Lovely compilation. Thank you!

    Hugs, Vidya
    Vidya Sury recently posted…That’s What Friends Are ForMy Profile

  4. Tess The Bold Life December 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi Fran,
    I love reading about the methods people use to say mentally healthy. I stopped doing crazy holidays the year the last of the girls left home. Stopped all baking, gifts…all of it. Just in the last few years have I slowly added a few traditions. I know this may sound crazy but it was part of simplifying my life.

    We’re going hiking in Tuscon and Sedona over Christmas. Over New Years we’re going to the Rose Bowl parade and game. Hubs loves football and I love parades. Staying right in Pasedena at an Airbnb.

    Happy New Year!

    • Fran December 24, 2013 at 2:36 am #

      Tess-
      You’re a woman after my own heart. When you make a decision, you go for broke ….and don’t look back. Have a blast hiking and at The Rose Bowl parade. xxoo

  5. Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition December 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Dear Fran,
    I so enjoyed reading about the holiday wellness practices of all these bloggers. Thank you for sharing them, and mine too.

    It was fascinating to see that most everyone mentions feeling overwhelmed. I think it helps each of to know that we are not alone and that no matter how much we try we are not meant to be Superman/woman! Just knowing that I’m not the only one who feels this way makes me feel better and I’m sure this post is going to hit most people the same way too.

    I’m putting one foot in front of the other and staying focused on the present. That’s how I will not only maintain spiritual holiday wellness but enjoy the holiday season too.

    Best wishes for a marvelous holiday season and a superb new year to you!
    Big hugs,
    Angela
    Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition recently posted…Thanksgiving & the Secret Power of Gratitude – From the PBI MailboxMy Profile

    • Fran December 24, 2013 at 2:33 am #

      Dear Ange-

      Your point is well taken. This overwhelmed feeling – I think – has become part of the fabric of what we expect the holiday season to be. What I find so inspiring about these posts is that each of you has made a CHOICE to journey through this holiday season mindfully and taking time for yourselves. Thanks for your contribution Ange. xxoo-Fran

  6. Paige Burkes December 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Lots of great information here! Fran, thank you so much for inviting me to share. Yes, self-care is the key to staying healthy and happy any time of year.

    I love how Tess has approached her “empty nest” holidays. I’ve spent Christmas in the Virgin Islands and a variety of other places. I think the season is more about sharing love doing what you love instead of making it look like something off TV or out of a magazine.

    The transition from following others’ traditions (or even your own) and doing what you think you’re supposed to do to following your heart and doing what you love can take two or three years to settle in but it’s well worth the effort. Others’ feelings may be hurt because you’re not doing what they want but, in the long run, following your heart leads to the greatest happiness for everyone.

    Wishing everyone much love and happiness!!
    Paige Burkes recently posted…How To Release Yourself from Your PastMy Profile

    • Fran December 24, 2013 at 5:53 am #

      Dear Paige,
      Thank you for contributing. Your wise and thoughtful words always add knowledge, sustenance, and soul to anything that you do. Have a beautiful holiday! xxoo

  7. Elle December 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Fran, it was great to read everyone’s techniques for staying on track during the holidays. It seems to me it’s always about our perspectives. So much overwhelm and stress is self inflicted because of how we view everything.

    I learned to just let it go and it’s made everything so much easier. I’ve always loved this time of years so that in and of itself makes for a happy time.

    Blessings of the season and abundant prosperity for the new year.
    Love elle
    Elle recently posted…The Real Key To Being The Happiest Person You KnowMy Profile

    • Fran December 24, 2013 at 3:00 am #

      Dear Elle – Once you can ‘let go’ in any situation, how different the world can be. I also love this time of year and feel that if we all just stay mindful and focus on what the holiday is really about, our joy factor significantly increases. You are a great role model for a living a happy and abundant life. Have a beautiful holiday season. With love – Fran

  8. Vishnu December 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I love Sandi’s reflection about self-compassion which is the greatest gift we can give ourselves during the holidays. Especially that thought about treating yourself as you would treat others.

    Also being present is key as Angela points out. And I think for me, ultimately being conscious is key of what we’re doing during the holiday season..

    I don’t just do a lot of things out of obligation but pick and choose what feeds the spirit, nourishes the soul and allows me to be with those who uplift and nurture my being. Actually that’s just a practice for the whole year – try to be more vigilent during the holiday season though.
    Vishnu recently posted…A Simple but Powerful Practice to Change your Thoughts and Increase your Self-Worth.My Profile

  9. Patrik March 2, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Great Inpirational theme you have in your writing and observations…

    I can strongly recommend that you check out September Equinox Conference in California. http://saintmichaelsanctuary.com/lightcelebration

    Take Great Care
    /Patrik

    • Fran March 6, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks so much Patrik. Will check it out. Fran

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