I’ve been informed by some wise women out there that one of the most daunting things about the holidays is all the down time. A little ironic when you think about it, but it also makes perfect sense when you realize that down time is fertile ground for racing thoughts and negative self talk – and we all know how quickly this can translate into shutting down and isolating behaviors. The first step to change of course is awareness, so once you know this about yourself you can begin to make plans to take action.
If spending “quality” time with family means sitting around and watching tv together – or watching them watch tv – consider what it might feel like to invite them to play a board game together instead. Or to *gulp* go outside and take in the elements even if it’s freezing cold out. Honestly, as long as you’re not choosing something destructive (self, or otherwise), what you’re choosing to do different is less important than making the decision to do something different, in and of itself.
Trying something new can also mean trying something old – something you used to enjoy as a kid, like going sledding or catching snowflakes on your tongue. Even the act of opening your arms up to the world might be enough of an energetic shift to invite new thoughts and experiences. What’s it like to tap into that energy from a time when you were filled with curiosity, wanting to discover the world and learn what it was all about? Maybe take a walk down a different street in your neighborhood or stop into a shop that you’ve only passed by for the millionth time. One wise woman pointed out that even if you feel like you are all alone in the world, there is always the option to feel some connection to others simply by being in public places; reading a book or listening to music in a coffee shop still gives you the energy of being around others – and you never know, being around others might even open the door to new possibilities.
I think that one of the mistakes we make is the assumption that we already know all there is to know about the world, but of course the universe is not that simple. I truly believe that bringing flexibility in your approach to life is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. And maybe, just maybe, you can begin to create some space to challenge those mistaken beliefs and find there is another way to be in the world. Let me know how it goes – I would love to hear from you!
Copyright 2017 © Rachel Braun, All rights reserved.
Rachel Braun, ATR-BC Art Therapist Philadelphia, PA
Specializing in art therapy groups for women who experience depression, anxiety and eating disorders.