Plant Some Holiday Seeds (Without a Green Thumb)

Jodi Barnes

Holidays can be daunting, even without the political turmoil that's become a major trigger for anxiety, stress and yes, the not-for-prime-time family feuds.

Do you pack an extra layer of armor? Arm yourself with rebuttals? Sink lower in your chair and focus on your excuse to retreat after dessert? 

Maybe start more organically. As your own caretaker:

1. Focus on restoration. Get enough sleep of course, but take breaks during waking hours. Even five minutes of relative quiet with mindful breathing or meditation can make a difference in our ability to reframe stressful situations. 

2. When you feel confronted or insulted, ask yourself, What good will engaging with this person do? When Aunt Mildred rants about what's wrong with America and she's pushing buttons -- right OR left -- will you or anyone else change her thinking? You may decide to respond, just remember you have a choice. Remember your own care. You are temporarily replanted in this environment. It can be powerful to choose silence or a simple, "interesting; please pass the salt." Choose to engage with those who want a conversation, not confrontation. 

3. Feed yourself with nourishing material and contact with those who support you. Even small reminders like our 14 Words for Love theme packs fit easily into your smallest bag. Imagine, our peace pack, includes 36 quotes and poems about inner calm and community peace. One of our favorites: To know peace is to practice it moment by moment inside anxiety, anger, fear.

Here's to you, to us. We're all in this together!