If you’re reading this, congratulations. Should things hold out between now and the 31st, you’ll survive 2020. I think anyone who has should at least get a t-shirt commemorating this extraordinary achievement. 

But you’ve also gone through this drill with Thanksgiving, and dealt, as we have here at Medicine Box, with confusion, dread and occasionally, bursts of hope. Whatever your stance on masking, vaccines or the state of the country or the world, it seems like COVID has put massive roadblocks into the one thing that is needed to bring down the temperature: bring people together. Which is what the holidays are supposed to do, after all.

So maybe it’s best to think a little differently about the holidays this year. Rather than have a holly jolly Christmas, it may be best to have a Mindful Holiday season, one where the stress or the solitude can be released daily. It is important to remember that no matter what we are going through, that this time is a time for peace, for serenity and for underlining the generosity and depth of spirit that exists in all of us. These guiding principles can help us with lightening the load.

Can the holidays still heal?

 

THE FIRST STEP: SERENITY

Whether you are nestled in a quarantine “pod” or weathering out the storm alone, there will be emotional turbulence, made even more dire by news and social media. In moments like these, it is best to turn inwards to blot out the pain, fear, confusion and manipulation that smothers us. It is important, for everyone reading this, to move away from doubt and fear towards faith and love. That’s what this holiday is supposed to be about, after all.

For myself, I reserve a moment out of every day towards a specific physical activity — maybe yoga or hiking — and then afterwards, basking in that afterglow of serenity. I would recommend shutting off one’s phone afterwards. Believe me, the bad news can wait. What CAN’T wait is your time to purge yourself of what you are feeling. As we like to say in mindfulness, you are not your thoughts, your emotions, or whatever difficulties that befall you at this moment. 

And of course, you may want to end the day with Equanimity if you’re having problems with putting your issues to bed. Skullcap, valerian, and chamomile combine with hemp-derived CBD and CBN to bolster the serenity you’re working hard to cultivate.

Holidays with peace and serenity

 

THE SECOND STEP: PEACE

Whether you’re home alone or sweating out the end of the year with close family, you probably already know how you’re going to finish out the end of the year. If you’re used to specific holiday traditions happening like clockwork, facing these moments without them can seem quite cruel.

Drawing back on mindfulness, one of the first things to acknowledge is the inevitability of change. Over time, everything shifts — close relatives grow old and pass on, our youth fades and whatever we thought we could take for granted shifts away from us. Sometimes, it changes for the better, and sometimes, our patience and strength is tested for years at a time. No one wants to live through those moments. 

An interview with a person who lived through the Depression mentioned how very little of the challenges really resonated with him years later, and I feel it will be the same with this moment for many of us. And for those of us who manage to survive in one piece, you’re going to need to show that grace to the first responders and the Long COVID supporters who are gonna need it. For now, it may also be a good time to establish some new traditions, such as steering clear of all the holiday junk food that grabs onto us over the holidays. Oh, and augmenting those proper choices with some Happy Belly would be a good idea too while you’re at it, now that it’s only 50% off at our store, hint-hint.

 

THE THIRD STEP: FAITH

I simply can’t say this enough: there’s a wish towards peace and good will towards men — not to mention women and gender-neutrals as well. Considering what we’ve been through here in America, that may be a pretty hard ask for some of you, but if you can’t pull that off during this time of year, then why be all that depressed about not being able to celebrate the holidays at all? Unfortunately, there’s no holiday season I know of that celebrates division, anger and backbiting, since some people like to celebrate that year-round. So cultivating that within your own heart, whether you’re saying hi to your loved ones around the menorah, Christmas tree or on Zoom, will do your world a bit of good.

And one last 1CaB plug for Vital Recovery — our own bottle of sustainable energy drops, because we’re gonna need every last bit of it to get past the finish line of 2020. At that point, this will be the best present imaginable.