Finding Peace in the Emotional Chaos of Christmas

The topic of Christmas is broad, wonderful, and perplexing. Over the past few weeks, I’ve come across several articles about overcoming stress and sadness over the holidays. 

I can’t say I am surprised, but it got me thinking. Christmas – and the anticipation of New Year – really bring up a lot of emotions. From the warm and fuzzies to feeling sad, envious, or jealous – Christmas can be an emotional time. 

It’s okay you’re feeling more forlorn this Christmas, but given that the end of the year is a time to reflect, the best thing to do for yourself is to find peace amidst the emotional chaos. Whether it’s because of the pandemic or personal issues, there’s always space to fill your heart with peace. 

Be in the Moment, Not in FOMO

FOMO struggle is real during the holidays – seeing beaming photos of friends celebrating Christmas and New Year creates feelings of regret, anticipated regret, social exclusion, and envy. 

All of us have experienced these feelings to some degree. Plus, COVID-19 restrictions are likely to feed into the anxiety even more. 

Social media is a massive culprit in cultivating FOMO, but even just learning about an event you missed by word of mouth can create the same anxious feeling.

Woman reading a book by Christmas tree
Photo Credit: Any Lane from Pexels

Be in the moment. Things we see or hear on social media are one brief moment that doesn’t really tell the whole story. There is no point in spending time in this fantasy world that’s based on a fleeting moment. 

Find peace by changing your perspective and being in the moment. Don’t worry about “if only” or “I wish” moments because they take you away from the present moment. 

For example, if you say things like “oh, I wish I was out celebrating like my friends are,” change your narrative. Say something like, “I am safe in my home, and I’m celebrating differently,” or “I may not be with my family this Christmas, but I am thankful for them.”

Other methods to be in a better headspace include meditation or mindfulness practice, turning off social media notifications, or being proactive in what and how much you scroll through your phone.

Practice Forgiveness

Are you in a disagreement with someone, or perhaps you’re still angry at someone who is no longer with us, and you are finding it tough to forgive? 

Forgiveness is one of the most challenging things to do in life. It’s especially tough if you believe the other person wronged you, and you really want them to feel the pain you’re feeling.

But, truthfully, how would inflicting pain on someone do any good? Anger, fear, worry, and similar feelings never serve us well.

Forgiveness is the change that takes place within you and not the reaction from the person forgiven. It does not mean forgetting what happened, nor is it a sign of weakness. But it does mean pulling back your pride and ego and letting go.

To be clear, letting go is not sweeping things under the rug but letting go of the anger, hate, fear, and sadness, so you’re no longer reacting negatively. However, if this person responds negatively towards you after reconciliation efforts, rely on your strength, and find peace in knowing that you’ve done your part to forgive. 

Start by talking to a friend or seeking advice through online forums to give you a new perspective. Just remember, forgiveness starts with you. 

Peace Starts with You This Christmas

Woman holding Christmas lights
Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

There are so many other triggers that can leave us feeling down during Christmas, yet there is so much to celebrate. 

Of course, each scenario is unique, and some things will be a heck of a lot harder to overcome. However, if you can invite peace into your space, you will be one step closer to being kind to yourself and to others.

Finally, remember to speak to yourself and others from a place of love, not fear or anger.

Above everything you experience this season, I wish for you to have peace, so you can start the new year with a clearer mind. Happy Holidays! 

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