Survival tips for the holiday season

Survival tips for the holiday season

Dreading December?

Are you dreading all the holiday season festivities, but do you also not really want to miss the party? Then be sure to read till the end.

Nature has been withdrawing her light since the summer solstice. In a few days the light will slowly return and days will grow longer again. Now is the ideal period to take some to reflect. Go inwards and look at your shadow side. Chase away your demons, and make new plans. When you do this in a right way, this time can be a period of transformation, healing and growth.

However, many people don't experience healing and joy around Christmas. And you, when you are reading this, probably don't either. You might experience stress, haste and having to do too much in not enough time.

When the holiday season makes you uncomfortable, tired and overwhelmed, you end up feeling like a wreck. And that's not the best way to start a new year.


When this is how December makes you feel, then you probably spend a lot of attention, time and energy on how to present yourself to the outside world, and on how to please everyone. Something within you is afraid of judgment and rejection. To avoid this, you adjust.

Such an adjustment can be a conscious decision. For example, you decide to adjust your clothing, by not showing up in sweat pants to avoid criticism about your outfit. Or you adjust your behaviour by keeping your mouth shut about a certain sensitive topic to avoid a heated discussion.

Adjusting isn't always such a conscious decision. Adjustment happens at an unconscious energy level and shows up as a noticeable physical discomfort. 

You feel drained, torn, exhausted and 'attacked by energy vampires'.

How does this happen?

You've reacted to the energy of the perceived judgements and rejections in the room and distorted' yourself into a version of you that isn't your authentic self, in order to avoid the pain this judgment and rejection causes. 

That reaction makes you feel tired and drained.

Unfortunately judgments and rejections can never be avoided in groups, at parties and visits. You have no control over what other people think and project into a room, but you can control your own reactions.

You don't need to avoid people, parties and visits in order to feel good during the holiday season. So what to do?

4 tips to survive the festivities

When you are at a get together, and you feel exhausted and the need to withdraw, you know now that you've somehow lost a part of your authentic self. And that it is time to reconnect with it. Take some time to re-member.

1. Management

Don't wait until you are overwhelmed: be practical and plan ahead.

  • Don't plan your calendar too full.
  • Limit your social media use.
  • Have a daily ritual to reconnect with yourself.

This ritual can be anything: walking the dog, doing yoga, or drinking a cup of tea, just to name a few. Choose something that suits you and that you like to do with full attention every day. A few times a day is of course also possible. Make time for it!

2. Find space within yourself

Pay attention to your body.

Take a couple of deep breaths and detach yourself from your thinking, your thoughts and what is happening outside and around you. Bring awareness to all parts of your body and feel the space there.

It helps to imagine an experience of space, such as being on the beach or in an empty room. Spread the energy of that experience in your body with each breath.

3. Merge

Expand your awareness.

When you feel overwhelmed by situations or crowds, then merge with the surroundings.

  • Bring your awareness to your body.
  • Find the energy limits just outside your body.
  • Use your consiousness to make them bigger. Bigger than yourself, the space, he crowd and the situation you are in.
  • Embrace everything and everyone in the largest possible space that you can incorporate into your awareness.

4. Receive judgments and rejections 

Especially when they are negative.

Instead of withdrawing or adapting yourself into something you're not, be present. Stay with that uncomfortable, intense feeling invoked in you. Be curious, don't push it away. Feelings are meant to be felt.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How does it feel?
  • How and where does that feeling manifest in my body?
  • What images, emotions and thoughts come to mind?

Give it your full and complete attention. Even and especially when the energy is really intense. When you allow yourself to feel it all the way through, it will not be present the next time you're in a similar situation. Or else the energy will certainly be much, much less intense.

Which tip do you think you will use the most? Do you have any other tips to get through the holidays with ease? Tell about it in the comment box below.

Gill le Feuvre

Gill le Feuvre

on 20 Dec 2021

Hi Nicky, now I’m not working, Christmas time is a lot easier. Our daughter Tuchila and husband Erik are taking on the family Christmas Day. A traditional English Christmas dinner. I just have to make a Christmas cake, make the cranberry sauce, chocolate sweets and a nut roast for the vegetarians. We have some fun games planned. I’m so looking forward to it. We are now hoping Belgium will not spoil the fun last minute by reducing the number of people allowed in the house…both children live in Belgium. If I get tired I sit down and go to sleep! I love the times we are together with all the family. At our age Jean and I are very aware of how precious each family get together is now. Warm greetings to you and your family for a Happy Christmas and a healthy, fun, en liefdevolle 2022. 😀

Nicky Koopmans

Nicky Koopmans

on 21 Dec 2021

Thank yo for sharing, Gill. That really sounds like a wonderful Christmas. Enjoy, and enjoy each other. Happy holidays!

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