More than any other time of year, the holidays can be stressful. We’re dealing with all kinds of things — family dynamics, extra social obligations, juggling work and vacation time, and maybe even the financial stress of paying for vacations and gifts.
I have a few death anniversaries that make it a challenging time. My best friend and my stepfather both died just before Thanksgiving (a few years apart, thankfully), while my father passed 20 years ago on New Year’s Eve.
I’ve found that I have to be extra kind to myself during the holidays, especially this year, since I’m starting a new job and moving during the next week.
Oh, and did I mention it’s my birthday just before Christmas?
So yeah, a lot is happening. With the advent of cooler weather, I remembered one of my favorite stress management techniques, and wanted to share it with all of you right away! I was chillin’ with my 16-yr-old over the weekend, all snuggled up in a blanket and noticing how soothing it was. Then I remembered that years ago when I was working with Eric Sjoberg, who was helping me to recover from some trauma, he taught me about the healing power of blankets.
During my session I was digging deep into some old trauma and working to let it go. Afterwards I was feeling pretty wobbly so he wrapped me up in a blanket. He told me that this blanket therapy would help my nervous system to calm down. And it did. No wonder kids are attached to blankets. They’re soothing.
I feel so grateful to Eric for sharing this with me, because it has become such a super-simple way to calm down. I carry a stadium blanket in my car, just for this purpose. If I am traveling and I get stressed, I just wrap up in the blanket and sit in my car for a few minutes. Next week when I start my new job, I plan to use this technique on my lunch hour if I need it.
I realize that the Native American shamans knew about this a long time ago. There’s an old tradition of something called a “medicine blanket”. This blanket is seen as magical — an aid to healing. A friend of mine who is recovering from a chronic illness puts hers over her when she sleeps at night, and then drags it out to the living room during the day. A medicine blanket holds healing properties and be used both indoors to soothe and comfort us, and outdoors as a thing to sit on or keep warm while we do ceremony. Sometimes the simplest things in our lives can also be spiritual.
Blessings, and Happy Thanksgiving!
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If you’d like more help with de-stressing, I have a couple of other ways to support you. The first is my new Shamanic Clarity and Balance e-course. If you’d prefer one-on-one support, I offer that too. To get started, just click here for a free 15-minute consultation with me.