It's holiday season in my part of the world. People typically visit with family and friends. Self-care during this type of time is extremely important. In my case, I take more time to meditate and visualize nature. When I notice myself feel uncomfortable, I stop the thought and create beauty instead.
One time this season, I stopped an anxious thought spiral and visualized an imaginary garden. My hands washed dishes, prepped the kitchen to bake a pie. The garden grew jasmine flowers, sunflowers. Lush green grass surrounds it and a creek splashes against nearby rocks.
A couple of days ago, I woke up and decided to see my mom for the first time in six months. On my way over, just before I arrived, I noticed repetitive thoughts. They prefaced something in my body... a familiar sensation. In my mind, I quizzed myself: What is this feeling? Ah. Anxiety. Lickety split, resources appeared. These images from EMDR work are symbols: one each for compassion, nurture, trust; and an elder self. This creation, it alleviated my anxiety and relaxed my body. The following day, I talked with my father for the first time in several months. At one point, I tried something new -- jumped in and said it seems like he's feeling a lot of stress and anxiety. Then my stomach relaxed. The tension I thought was mine at first, it dissolved.
As the holiday season progresses, I wish each of us continued connection and purpose.
Well hello there.