Dealing with Holiday Stress, Feelings of Burnout 

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Just a few more days until Christmas, and you might be feeling like there isn’t enough time. The stress of Christmas can be extremely overwhelming, and what is making it worse especially this year is the current Mercury retrograde transit that started on Dec 20th 2016 and continues to Jan 8th 2017 (plus a 2-week shadow period on either end). Any miscommunications, misunderstandings or confusion around plans and travel, mishaps, travel blunders, forgetfulness and feeling like you have to put in more effort than usual on certain tasks. This energy is being compounded by the added pressure and stress of the holiday season.

But here’s the thing: this is a time to remember that the universe is calling you to slow down! The universe doesn’t care about all of your holiday ‘to do’ lists, and it doesn’t do much good to try to fight the forces of the universe now does it?   If you are feeling like you just can’t get everything done this holiday season, give yourself a break. Let this be a reminder to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, time with loved ones, connecting with family and friends, and giving yourself some much-needed rest and relaxation.  Mercury retrograde does occur relatively frequently at about once every 3 months, but consider this: the proportion of our lives that Mercury is in retrograde is the same as the proportion that we are asleep versus awake. So in the spirit of balance and ‘going with the flow’, if we must sleep a certain number of hours in order to maintain our health, then we must also balance between the times when our energy is in ‘full throttle’ forward and outward thrust, and the times when it relaxes, moves back over old ground, or moves into ourselves through reflection.  

To deal with mercury retrograde the answer is simple: don’t fight it. Allow yourself to expect the unexpected, make your plans ‘open-ended’ and flexible, and try not to fill every minute of your time over the next few weeks. If you take this approach, you will find the holidays are a lot easier to cope with, and you will feel happier and more lighthearted.  

Be open to what comes, and give yourself permission to reflect and look back on the last 3 months, as well as the past year. Retrace your steps, reflecting on each month and working your way backwards from December to November to October and so on.  Tie up loose ends, take care of any unpaid bills, file old paperwork, and so forth.  This is a time for finishing up projects or for thinking about plans for the future (not committing to plans, but exploring potential options).  This Mercury retrograde occurs primarily in the sign of Capricorn, and also slipping back into Sagittarius.  Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn represents a need to review or go back over business affairs or more broadly speaking, your place in the world.  So take some time to reflect on your career path, your progress against any goals that you had for this year, your goals for the future and specifically what you want to achieve.  Be sure to complete any personal projects that you have started and take time to reflect on the outcomes.  Mercury retrograde can also affect other areas of your life, depending on your personal birth chart.  I am currently offering FREE Astrological Birthchart Readings for a limited time and can use your personal birth chart details to give you more tips for managing through this retrograde period. Click here!

For some of us, looking backward automatically leads to feelings of guilt and regret; it immediately grants permission to the mind to take a position of judgement. If you find yourself doing this, think about releasing any judgement and know that we can only learn and gain life experience through our mistakes, and by reflecting on them in order to take away the lesson.

Also, as this we are now heavy into the Kapha season, and with the Winter Solstice passing on December 21st, giving us the shortest day of the year, it is an important time to remember your self care!! We cannot give to others when we are pouring from an empty cup.  

Check out my blog on getting through the Kapha season, and remember if you are starting to feel sluggish and depressed (common side-effects during the holiday season), to follow some of these Ayurvedic tips for your diet:

 ⁃ Go for foods that are warming like cinnamon, ginger, child flakes and lemon

 ⁃ Eat a lot of leafy green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale, asparagus etc)

 ⁃ Avoid heavy fruits like banana and avocado

 ⁃ Avoid vegetables that have a lot of water like tomatoes and corn

 ⁃ Know that heavy oils, sweets, sour and salty foods will make you feel heavy and susceptible to depressed emotional states

 ⁃ Use honey as a substitute for sugar 

Finally, if you are feeling the energy holding you back, then go with the flow.
This is not a time to exert tremendous force of will in order to ensure a certain outcome. Slow down, and give yourself permission to do so, or simply know that when blunders occur, it’s not your fault!  This is the retrograde energy, and you’re definitely not the only one feeling it.  

Take care of yourself and have a wonderful holiday.  And take heart in knowing that the joys of life come from the moments that catch us by surprise 🙂

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