The holiday season is a complex time, emotionally, physically and mentally. Compassionate people often take on more responsibility than they should, leaving them feeling pressured and exhausted.
Feeling types want to create a comfortable experience for everyone. This thought can lead you to hold unrealistic expectations. For the only person you can make happy is you. There are many reasons why some people, no matter how hard you try will not be satisfied with what you do, give or make. This is the reason why we need to learn how to let go of other’s critical voices. Sometimes that critical voice is your own! Remember, when there is an increase in stress, old family dynamics come into play.
Others can’t wait for this time of year to be over because it reminds them of psychological pain, loss and sadness. Our society doesn’t make room for grief during the holiday season. Where ever you find yourself on the spectrum or perhaps in both worlds, it is important to honor yourself and make time to rest.
Many helpers feel resting is wasted time because you aren’t accomplishing a task or goal. I have wrestled with this myself. To do something feels as if you are valuable and worthy. Yet, you don’t have to do or say anything to be valuable and worthy because you already are!
Rest is essential for the health of your body, mind and spirit. Each instance you get still, it allows your brain time to process, your heart space to feel, your spirit connects to the Divine and your physical body has time to breathe.
First let’s look at what rest really means. These definitions are from Merriam Webster 2022-
specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
freedom from activity or labor
a state of motionlessness or inactivity
peace of mind or spirit
How to rest
When you think of restful activities imagine acts that slow down your nervous system, in order to restore body, mind and spirit. Do gentle activities you enjoy. Less simulation is best, but I do understand those with very active minds sometimes need something to focus on. I have combined a list of ideas below:
Sit or lay and that is it!
Listen to a meditation
Listen to music (without words)
Sit and watch nature
Do a five to ten minute, easy walk
Take some slow deep breaths
Focus on your five senses in this moment
Doodle or scribble
Take a bath
You may also want to read: Get Rid of Unending Fatigue with these Four Powerful Types of Rest
How do you make time to rest?
Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net