Vacation Overwhelm? Take a Ratatouille Day!

By visitor blogger Anne Randerson.

Many people really feel a way of overwhelm once we see Christmas lights, Santas, bustling traces to buy youngsters’s toys, and a plethora of vacation actions. Some individuals merely shut down, whereas numerous us discover a sense of overdrive in our our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Anne Randerson’s ratatouille

As non secular administrators and companions, how can we settle our nerves as we face this busy season? Reminiscences come flooding in—good, unhealthy, and combined—of meals with household, foolish quarrels with siblings, animated card video games, aromas of scorching cider, eggnog, turkey, cranberries and so forth. Every custom differs. Holidays carry cheer, and generally, emotions of loneliness. After we meet with directees throughout this time, we would choose up their emotions of loneliness or apprehension about vacation gatherings—even over Zoom. It’s not all cheer and celebration.

Household tensions surge… Who sipped an excessive amount of wine and bought too merry? Who dug a fingernail into that chocolate to foretell its taste? Who grabbed last-minute offers on ugly sweaters, outmoded scarves, scraggly Xmas timber? As we collect with our family members throughout this busy time, it’s essential to carve out valuable time for self-care. The worst factor for a directee is a frazzled non secular director, proper?

Taking a Breather

For instance, at present, my companion and I have been presupposed to courageous below-zero climate to journey to a city an hour away. It began to snow, so as a substitute, we placed on mushy music, ready ratatouille (a savory French dish), and danced in our lounge. After that, we cuddled on the couch with scorching tea and attractive novels. Because the solar set, we basked in an environment of deep appreciation. Assembly our mates wasn’t definitely worth the dangerous drive, and staying at residence introduced us peace.

Creating restorative area is a vital a part of being a non secular director or non secular companion. If we will’t grant ourselves downtime to calm our feelings and nourish our passions (like studying, writing, music, making wholesome selfmade dishes) how can we be absolutely current for our directees? Self-care helps us open our hearts and souls to the knowledge that lies inside (each us and our directees), and the loving grace provided by God, the Divine, the Holy, or nevertheless you identify the Larger Supply of Knowledge.

Noticing Stress

In case you are feeling overwhelmed or discover sure indicators of utmost stress (racing thoughts, nervous ticks, sudden complications, abdomen pains, lack of sleep, overeating, lethargy), it’s greatest to seek the advice of a medical supplier. You may additionally think about taking a “ratatouille day.” Flip off your technological gadgets, placed on music that conjures up you, plan a time-out in your schedule—alone, or with a beloved one, even a cherished pet—and chill.

This self-care resolution will allow you to assist your directees, by settling your thoughts and physique, opening your self to the Larger Supply, and spreading much-needed love and peace to all. Have a heat and great vacation season!

[Note from the author: faith traditions across the globe have distinct ways of celebrating their holy days. The one I was raised in, Christianity, welcomes prayers for love, compassion, and goodwill to all. So does Zen Buddhism, which I studied in Japan. Prayerful messages like these translate into all world religions, faith traditions, ideologies, and languages. I’m hopeful that they will bring peace to all during this time of heightened global conflict.]

Many because of Teresa Blythe for this chance to contribute to Non secular Course 101.


Anne Randerson, Ph.D. will graduate from the Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction Apprentice Training Program in January, 2024. Anne is a author, mindfulness-based coach, instructor of contemplative practices and inventive expression, and a member of Non secular Administrators Worldwide (SDI). In 2003, she earned her Ph.D. diploma in Human Life Research after six years of analysis in northern Japan. She authored her dissertation was on “Human Life-style and Sensitivity In the direction of  Nature from a Spiritual Perspective.”  Anne is Belgian-American, has lived in 5 international locations, speaks six languages, and at the moment lives in Brussels, Belgium along with her companion. She hopes to work on-line with non secular directees from a number of faiths, cultures, languages, and backgrounds, particularly these from worldwide LGBTQIA+, ADHD, and inventive communities. Anne’s electronic mail and web site are beneath building so if you wish to contact her, electronic mail Teresa Blythe at

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