Holiday Wellness, Part II - Holidays Represent Different Things to Different People

The “Holiday Season” is filled with mixed vibrations – both positive and negative. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to look forward to each gathering of friends and family with comfort, confidence, and the ability to bring a healthy mind, body and spirit to the celebration? There are many ways to achieve this. In the last issue, we focused on the body, recognizing one of the most effective steps to be taken involves paying careful attention to your physical health. Now we direct our attention to the mind and spirit, since these are intricately interwoven with each other as well as with the body.

Mixed Vibrations

Recognizing that holidays magnify the positive and negative vibrations surrounding our lives, with a bit of planning, we can prepare for whatever might challenge our balance. The positive feelings are easy to handle, as they are pleasant to experience; but what about the “negative” vibrations that threaten our spiritual center? In particular, there is “grief,” feeling “judged/threatened,” and “magnification of insecurities.” In dealing with the latter two we will focus on the value of writing a Personality Resume.

Grief: A difficult emotion, particularly during the holidays. Sensitivity to the loss experienced by your own self, or another person – whether it is of a human, or dearly adored, furry family member – is key. Recognition that a bereaved person is struggling with loss at this time triggers awareness that we need to cut slack; specifically, if it is you who may be struggling – take deep breaths often to oxygenate your blood, ask your health care provider about possible vitamin/ mineral/ probiotic supplementation, and recognize that you may need assistance maintaining healing sleep; if it is another person who is struggling, perhaps not taking careless speech personally (and minding your own words and expressions) might be helpful. In addition, recognize that we each travel a sacred journey – and each person has a unique rhythm. For example, one who is grieving might enjoy seeing or sharing photos or telling stories about the one now gone, while another person might want to avoid all discussion about the one who is missing.

Whether it is struggling with loss of a pet, life partner, dear life-long friend, or loss of a child (particularly difficult – and this may require a well-educated mental health provider in addition to a strong support system) it may help to keep in mind that healing begins with becoming an island of calm. It might be of value to pay greater attention to nutritional needs, sleep patterns, choice of words, music, foods, and even speech pattern when dealing with grief and/or those who are doing so.

Feeling “judged” or “threatened”: This is easier to prepare for than some might think. Success may be as simple as recognizing our own personal bias, keeping in mind lessons from the past (while not permitting them to dictate, through bias, closed-minded expectations), and writing a personality resume in advance. In fact, the well-crafted Personality Resume is the main intervention when neutralizing the impact of “magnification of insecurities” – which may go hand-in-hand with feeling judged or threatened.

Writing an Effective Personality Resume: The first step is to take stock of all successes, short-term goals reached and long-term goals within reach. The second step is to self-reflect honestly to screen for recent personal growth (or impending need to do so). When you know your own self, feel confident in your ability to accurately self-reflect, and are able to reasonably assess your own strengths and weaknesses ahead of time, you are less likely to be at the mercy of any person who may (either deliberately or inadvertently) rock your boat.

Family gatherings can be filled with wonderful vibrations, making new memories, and renewal of old relationships as well as healing of strained relationships. It helps to keep in mind that comfort is the bottom line. We may accomplish this by filtering words before they leave our lips – as well as those who trespass beyond our ears, for three points; specifically, ask yourself: (1) “Is it kind?” (2) “Is it necessary?” (3) “Is it true?” Try this with yourself during self-reflection, and whenever you have a conversation with another person.

Here’s to a healthy, happy holiday season!

Dr. Nancy Iankowitz is a board certified family nurse practitioner and Director of Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC. She is also host of “Marcy’s World”on Pawling Public Radio. Email your questions to: For more information, call (917) 716-6802, or visit online.