Melanie shares several tips for enjoying the holidays in this episode. She also highlights some of the common holiday happiness traps that can cause folks a lot of sorrow, resentment and anger.
As she says, “while almost everyone has fantastical dreams of perfect holidays that go all the way back before we were able to talk and encode explicit memories, almost as many of us are stressed, overwhelmed, sad or depressed, and can even become bitterly disappointed … every holiday season.”
There’s a lot of good news, though! When you slow down and mindfully manage your holidays, you’ll feel a lot better. And your beloveds will, too. (If they don’t? They’re not really beloveds, are they?)
Melanie also offers the latest neuroscience research findings to help you feel more ease-full and peaceful this year.
Her first tip? Don’t give away your ability to choose how and with whom you spend your time. As she says, “You don’t have to keep giving yourself, or your very precious time, or your emotional health and wellbeing away to ideas about how it’s supposed to be, or to people who cannot see you, respect you and offer you, at the very least, kindness.
“You don’t have to choose to keep on doin’ the holidays the same old ways it’s always been done.
“We’re living in a new world. And to the extent we can accept that, even surrender to the new reality, then we’ve given ourselves some sacred space to begin building new rituals and ceremonies and traditions.”
Can you give yourself some sacred space and create new rituals and ceremonies and traditions that are in alignment with who you are and what you need?
As usual, Melanie doesn’t shy away from talking about the difficult things that most of us would rather not think about. Things like toxic families, grieving your losses during this supposedly “HappyHappy” time, and how to navigate the season as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person).
And she also shares that a couple of the creative ideas that showed up surprised her, including her favorite, which she’s calling The Soup Circle!
She ends the show with a few poems to help sooth your nervous system and calm your weary mind, including this one entitled The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper:
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us—Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
More about Dr. Melanie Harth here: https://thesantafetherapist.com/about-santa-fe-therapist/