The holiday season can be overwhelming and overstimulating. With our regular routines not in place, children out of school, healthy diets put on hold, while we are dealing with the hectic pace of traveling or tourists, holiday parties and family gatherings, it is easy for things to start to feel emotionally flooded. And for empaths, introverts and highly sensitive people, as well as those who typically spend a lot of time alone, this flood of stimulation might feel like a tsunami. And while spending the season alone on an island may not be an option, there are ways you can guard your energy even in the most frenzied times.
Know your energy drainers and energy limits
Even good things can be taxing on our energy. Make time to reflect on what gives you energy, what takes energy, and what drains energy. Do energy check-ins with yourself often throughout your days. Before you go to events, it would be important to check in with yourself and take note of how much energy you have for the event, and if there is any way you can refuel before you go. If not, then you can set a time limit for how long you will attend and who are the people you will limit interactions with.
Cultivate the image of your energy shield
This can be an energetic barrier in the form of a golden light, a zip up jacket, an armour or a shield. Use the image that works for you and visualize yourself wearing shielding up your personal energetic sphere before you enter a space where you know you will be energetically taxed.
Things like travel and unhealthy foods and drinks can dehydrate us over the holiday season. Dehydration can result in us feeling more agitated, tired, and literally and energetically drained. The more hydrated you are, the more calm and grounded you will feel.
Silently use mantras
This are things you can repeat to yourself that work for you to keep negative energy at bay. Some suggestions include:
- “Return to Sender”
- “It doesn’t belong to me”
- “Observe don’t absorb”
- “Be like Teflon”
Every time you encounter negativity or feel overwhelmed, silently use the mantra as a reminder of your energetic sovereignty.
Soak in the earth’s energy
From taking an Epsom salt bath, or walking barefoot on the grass or the beach, to soaking your feet in seawater, use the earth to neutralize negative energy and give you positive energy. Visualize and ask the earth to absorb all that is negative and charge you with all that is life-giving.
Visualize grounding cords
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, visualize a soothing white light that goes from the top of your head all the way through to the bottom of your feet. From the bottom of the feet, imagine there are grounding cords that go deep into the earth’s living, giving realm. Remind yourself you are supported and you belong. This is a great exercise when you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
Retreat to a quiet, dark place
This can be in a car, a quiet room, or a bathroom, and it only needs to be for a few moments. The goal is to limit sensory input to calm your nervous system down so it can reset itself. The more still you are on the outside, the quieter it will feel on the inside.
Invest in noise cancellation
If you are in noisy places like grocery stores, hair salons, malls, or airports, wear a noise cancellation headset or ear pods. You do not have to listen to any music, just blocking out the noise will be soothing for the system.
Take slow and deep breaths
If you master your breath you can master any circumstance. Try breathing in for four and out for four, or doing 4-7-8 breathing: in for four, hold for seven, out for eight. Taking slow controlled breaths slows down your heart rate, creates heart-brain coherence, and a state of calm in the body, which helps you focus and concentrate under any circumstance.
Use essential oils/crystals
Carry a bottle of calming essential oil with you and smell it when you feel stressed to soothe your nervous system and relax the nerves. Also, consider wearing a bracelet or a necklace with crystals. By doing this, you are not only having a visual reminder of remaining calm and grounded but also each crystal holds a different vibration that can affect us in different ways. For grounding, hematite or black tourmaline will be good options.
While these ways of guarding your energy will help during the holiday season, do not feel they are only for this time. Use these tips to guard your energy throughout the year and practice them often. Remember, they are most effective when they are done as a preventative measure rather than waiting until you are overwhelmed to engage them.
Dr Saliha Afridi
As a clinical psychologist for the past 13 years, Dr Saliha Afridi has spent 12 years working in the UAE and founded The Lighthouse Arabia in 2011, a community mental health and wellness clinic providing quality psychological and psychiatric care to children, adults, couples and families.