The holidays are often filled with both joy and anxiety. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas to help us enjoy the season and the new year as well.


Around the holiday season, positive family dynamics are even more important than ever. We must be aware that they are influenced by our actions and the world around us.


The combination of lots of food, a bit less sleep, perhaps more alcohol, and particularly, this year’s over-the-top heightened social and political awareness, can cause tension and produce a high-stress quotient. Family members get triggered,  and most of us will have a button or two pushed during this merry season.


One of the benefits of the pandemic is we have gotten better at being together. We have been forced to,  due to the mandated quarantine. Yes, the situation has required us all to grow in one way or another. Almost everyone I know has a story or two about their growth experiences–what can happen without our usual distractions and commitments. Do you suppose there might be a way to channel all this hard-won esprit de corps? Maybe by kickstarting the holidays with a new spark?


What would that look like? One of the first challenges is exploring our relationship to the past and the future; the former is exhausting, and the latter is fantasy. We might commit to letting the weary past go. In truth, it is gone, and we have no way to retrieve it again and create a do-over. Unless, of course, you make a go of it by attempting to resurrect old wounds–then we are off to the races. This behavior frequently occurs, making it difficult to enjoy the holidays, as one is not living in the moment, but immersed in the past.


We could probably say the same for the future. We humans frequently throw ourselves out there,  imagining events and their outcomes in which we are mysteriously participating. We consider it much safer in this activity because at least we can tell ourselves we have every conceivable eventuality covered. What happens instead is that we are simply not present, as we have unwittingly thrown ourselves into a place that does not yet exist. And when immersed in this fantasy world, how can we be present to enjoy the holidays?


People are often the least present during the holiday season because it is difficult to find any downtime. Gatherings, however small, begin after Thanksgiving and can run until after New Year’s. It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed, making it a challenge to stay present. And there are instances when we have to push through. If this happens, here are a few quick tools to support us through the season:


  1. Meditation. This is the most beneficial, but it may be difficult to find the time, so try to fit in at least five minutes once or twice a day.
  2. Earthiness. Get your feet on the ground, literally. Go outside, take your shoes and socks off, and stand on the ground or sit against a tree, if you prefer.
  3. Essential Oils. Neroli and/or any type of Fir tree oil can heighten your senses to the present.
  4. Dietary. Eat more root vegetables, to again connect with the earth.


Charles Dickens had it right when he wrote A Christmas Carol. Not only was he helping Scrooge evaluate his greediness, but also he was giving him the gift of presence. If we want to kickstart the holidays, we might commit to staying out of the past and the future and being present this season. It might just help us set the tone for the exciting 2021 ahead.