The holidays can often feel like a whirlwind.
You get swept up in a gale of parties, gift-giving, and errands. Always on the go, you bounce from task to task, checking things off your list.
It can feel overwhelming. And if you’re unprepared, you might experience signs of burnout.
Most of us can’t hop on a plane to the islands when the holiday stress kicks in.
But I have good news: you don’t have to.
There’s no need to retreat to an external destination. You can find solace within yourself.
This Christmas, you can retreat to your inner sanctuary.
Why an Outer Sanctuary Isn’t Enough
Many of us have physical places we retreat to.
Our bedroom. Our place of worship. The park. We often find serenity in these special physical spaces.
However, these places aren’t always guaranteed to deliver peace.
For example, my home has always been my sanctuary. However, with renovations underway, my sanctuary suffers from invaders. This holiday season, it’s more a source of unwanted noise and stress.
But I learned that I didn’t have to despair. I didn’t need a physical space to retreat to.
When this happens, I know that I can always return to my inner sanctuary.
What Sanctuary is to Me
My sanctuary is found within my heart-space. It’s a place of serenity that I can always go to.
When life outside is stressful. When everybody is demanding my time and energy. When I need to desperately escape it all, I know that I can re-center myself within my sanctuary.
During the holidays, my sanctuary soothes me and prevents overwhelm. In this state of mind, I reconnect with my inner guidance.
How to Discover Your Inner Sanctuary
#1 Calm Your Body and Mind
First, find a comfortable place to sit.
Close your eyes.
Now, take a deep breath through your nose to the count of five.
Exhale through your mouth to the count of ten.
As the breath empties your lungs, feel the fatigue in your body melt away.
Let the world around you dissolve.
#2 Envision Your Inner Sanctuary
Picture in your mind a place where you feel peaceful, happy, and safe.
It might be a place you visited when you were young, like a park or field you played in.
It could also be an imaginary place, like a fantastical forest or lush meadow.
There is no right or wrong answer.
Your sanctuary is yours to design.Your sanctuary is yours to design. Click To Tweet
#3 Immerse Your Senses
Whichever destination you choose, immerse yourself entirely.
What sounds do you hear? Maybe you hear birds chirping or waves lapping against the shore.
What smells do you notice? What textures can you feel?
Delight your senses. Experience every detail. Be present in this moment.
#4 Notice Your Appearance and Actions
Are you wearing a faded summer dress that catches the wind? Or maybe you’re wearing a sharp pantsuit that makes you feel unstoppable.
Your clothes should reflect how you want to feel within your inner sanctuary.
Calm. Inspired. Confident.
Now, imagine what you’re doing.
You could be following a daisy-lined dirt path, the sunshine kissing your skin. Or you could be engaged in a hobby like painting or writing. Or maybe you’re just floating, carried by the waves.
Choose an activity that calms or energizes you.
What are you doing in your sanctuary?
#5 Color This Experience
Mentally capture your inner sanctuary, as if you’re taking a polaroid picture.
If this polaroid picture were to take on a color, what would it be? Yellow? Green?
For me, my sanctuary would take on a yellow tint. How about you? What color is your sanctuary?
Now imagine this color symbolizing everything you feel within your sanctuary: serenity, safety, happiness.
#6 Return to Your Breath
Now, return to your breath.
Imagine the oxygen you breathe is pigmented with that color.
Each inhale fills every cell within your body with that color. The feelings of joy and fortitude that your color carries touch every organ and extend to each fingertip.
And as you exhale, feel the color and every emotion settling into place. Each breath fills, soothes, and grounds you.
This is the transformative power of your inner sanctuary.
#7 Regularly Visit Your Inner Sanctuary
Your inner sanctuary isn’t just a retreat for when you’re feeling the symptoms of burnout.
It can also be a daily practice. When you practice consistent self-care, you feel more clarity and gain mastery over your emotions.
Before I give myself away to the day’s responsibilities, I visit my inner sanctuary every morning. I start my morning at my seaside cottage. I’m swaying slowly on a hammock tied between two palm trees. The warm sunshine paired with the cool ocean breeze energizes me.
I feel at peace.
Share your inner sanctuary with me. What does it look like? How do you feel when you’re there?
Discover Your Sanctuary Today
The holiday hustle and bustle can quickly consume our time and energy. If we don’t take time to practice self-care, we can suffer from holiday burnout.
This Christmas, the perfect gift isn’t always something you can buy off the shelves. Perhaps, the perfect gift is unlocking that space of zen and serenity within yourself.
That place is your sanctuary, and it’s waiting for you to discover it.
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