Sometimes we start the holiday season off worried about how to get the house clean and ready for company, what to buy as gifts for our friends and family, how we to handle the family drama, etc…. And we don’t really get a chance to enjoy the time we are given to celebrate the deeper and more meaningful reasons for celebrating the holidays. We forget that this is a time for love, for joy, for compassion, for giving, and for service to our brothers and sisters on Earth.
Here are 5 simple tips you can use to make the holidays a more happy and healthy time for the family:
1) When it comes time to feeling stressed about family problems or fighting, the best thing to do is to find a way to stop adding to this negative energy. Giving it negative attention only gives the situation more power. Instead, utilize the power of visualization and send positive energy to the situation:
Visualize your loved ones getting along in perfect harmony, being kind to one another, having a sense of sympathy and understanding, and forgiving each other. Affirm that there is peace and harmony, mentally repeat for each person needed that they have peace and harmony. See everyone surrounded by love and friendship, and surrounded by beautiful sunlight or bright light. Then notice any changes that occur within the family. Even by just changing your energy toward the situation, you may find that a transformation happens.
2) Be of service to those outside your friends and family. Give more hugs and more smiles to new people you may meet. Extend your friendship to more people around you than you may have in the past. Be open and kind to neighbors, or to the strangers in all of those stores you go to as you run all those holiday errands. Each person that you are kind to can be a part of a reaction in the positive chain of kindness to others in our human family.
3) Keep one place in your home the “safe room.” This will be the place where everyone in the family knows they can go when they need a moment of pure calm, peace, and relaxation. It’s the place where no one is allowed to fight, where anyone can go to get away for a few minutes alone. Only one person at a time of course.
You can put a yoga mat out, a CD player with spiritual music or relaxing sounds, a meditation cushion, spiritual books or art around the room if someone needs it. It’s the place to go where people can do the relaxing activities they need to re-energize and feel positive again. You can even put a sign on the door that says, “I leave here positive, energetic, and enthusiastic!!” (A positive affirmation from Paramhansa Yogananda as part of his energization exercises.)
Keep this area organized, clean, and satvik (or at a level of higher, heavenly or divine vibration). It may be a bit crazy around the house with all the activities going on, so things may get a bit messy… but this room is the sanctuary of peace so it needs to be kept visually aesthetic and uplifting. (Negative energy is attracted to places that are unkept or chaotic.)
4) Focus on having a consciousness of love and gratefulness. Instead of letting you or your thoughts get caught up in worries or fights, try to feel more love and gratitude for the time you have with your loved ones. Feel the divine consciousness that is alive and around us during the holidays. The Christ Consciousness, or the divine realization of our oneness with creation. (Note: If you are interested in learning more about this concept, I suggest reading The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Kriyananda or The Second Coming of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda.)
5) And finally, volunteer or donate. Volunteer your time at a local nonprofit. Serve those who are in need, and feel yourself be a part of a greater cause or positive movement for change. Most people say that the things they did in service to others were some of their favorite or most meaningful memories in life. To find service opportunities you can search online by causes that are meaningful to you, or see if your local church or nonprofits have an organized trip around the holidays to do great works in other countries.
If you will be spending the holidays close to home, you could spend some time cleaning out the house to donate things you don’t use anymore to a church or organization that collects used goods. Not only will you feel lighter without all the clutter (see above about having a satvik environment), but also you will make a bit more room for the holidays, gifts, and guests that come to your home.
So good luck to you and your family! And hope that these tips help you all to feel the goodwill and cheer this holiday season.