Self-care during festivals
Updated: Mar 4
Diwali seems to be the busiest time of the year for most of us. During this time it is very easy to get entangled in the chores and other people’s expectations while neglecting ourselves.
Here are some quick tips to keep your emotional and mental health in check while also enjoying the festivities with loved ones:
Grief and loneliness: Festivals also bring to the surface, feelings of sadness, loneliness and a sense of loss. Remember, these are only memories stored in the treasure chest of our mind. There may be some emotions attached to it. And the best part about emotions is that they are energy in motion. Hence, they will pass. Feeling all your feelings as an observer is the key. Allow yourself to feel. The most important thing about grief is that it doesn’t have an expiry date and there is no wrong or right way of doing it.
So no matter what the society and people say, your grief is yours to tend. And the best person who can take care of you in your moments of grief is also - YOU!
Social anxiety: Going for social outings and family gatherings can trigger some undesirable feelings. Especially if you are an introvert. If you are compared harshly to a friend or a cousin. If you are constantly nagged about your private life or personal choices then these things can cause you to feel- shameful, guilty, embarrassed etc
Addictions: When uncomfortable feelings show up most people try to run away or hide from them. This running and hiding reveals itself in form of comfort food, a peg, a drag, shopping, gambling, excessive screen, (this includes- social media, gaming, Netflix, sitcoms etc) or other substances which promises some amount of relief from these feelings. The most noticeable thing here is while all these things are very promising in providing relief they are highly temporary yet addictive. You pay the price with not only your physical health but also with your emotional, mental and financial health.
So going through all these difficult feelings during festivals is very natural because we are all emotional beings. Just as the ocean comprises of a majority of our planet earth our emotions comprises of a majority of our subtle body too.
Here is what you can do:
House cleaning: Just like we do a mental house cleaning during festival to release all the negative, stored pent up energy, Do a mental house cleaning too. Give away, discard, donate, recycle all old items which has served their purpose for you. Give donations to places like temples (where they offer free food to people on special days), schools and old age homes where you know your donations will be valued. Share or donate your old stuff to someone who will value it. This will bring you a joy of giving.
Decorations: Sometimes decorating your sacred corner with nature or things that bring joy to your heart is a good reminder. Just like you decorate your home. Don’t forget to decorate your mind with affirmations and visualisation of good things to come.
Boundaries: These are spaces which we draw in our relationships to let the other person know how we feel about certain things.
When talking to others use sentences that start with “I” Instead of “you”. e.g.: Instead of saying – you never understand me. Try saying- I’m feeling __________ (fill in the blank with whatever you are feeling) like overwhelmed or exhausted. I’d like to be by myself now. Or can we do this later? I need time to organise my thoughts Or I am not comfortable discussing that.
If a certain company makes you feel less than desired, not happy or joyous then you have every right to say “no” to such company. And even release the need to overexplain your choices.
Shopping: creating a budget for how much you’d like to spend during festival is the surest way to get you out of the guilt and anxiety of overspending. Making a list and the sticking to it as must haves and good to have will help you stick to your budget.
Gifting: When choosing a gifts for your loved ones opt for the thoughtful ones rather than the expensive ones. It will always convey the right meaning and your feelings behind the gift than the price it costs.
Spending time with loved ones: Spend time with people, friends or relatives and pets who truly love you for who you are, Doesn’t judge you. Reminisce in happy memories if you don’t have create new memories and remember this endeavour also starts with self-love and self-compassion. The more you love yourself the more you will find that love and joy outside of you.
Yoga and meditation: This is generally important but during festivals these two become essential. While all the other activities will keep you occupied, yoga will help you increase your stamina to perform the extra tasks. Pranayama or breathing exercises will give you extra boast in the life force so you don’t feel depleted in energy.
Frequent relaxing exercises, body scans and meditation will keep you connected to your-self and also your higher self which is the source of all power.