This holiday season, would you rather be Olaf or Marshmallow?
If you haven’t seen the Disney movie Frozen, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, so let me break it down for you.
Olaf is a happy-go-lucky magical snowman. He’s kind and silly and he likes warm hugs.
Marshmallow is a monstrous, rage-filled magical snowman. He’s huge and spikey and likes throwing car-sized snowballs.
I see these 2 snowmen as the representation of how I can handle stress.
I can either fall apart a little, but easily put myself back together by giving myself the support I need to remember what anchors me.
Or I can allow myself to get so consumed with stress that my anger or anxiety or depression swells up to 3 times my normal size and I start destroying everything in sight.
I used to be more of a Marshmallow.
Now, I’m more of an Olaf, at least most of the time.
Marshmallow still makes appearances in my life, but less than she used to.
The thing is, sometimes being Olaf isn’t as easy as it seems.
Olaf is remarkably optimistic. I mean, his idea of a dream vacation is to sit on the beach in the sun. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that he’s a snow man….so, yeah.
Being Marshmallow is easy. Marshmallow doesn’t use any restraint. She’s prickly. She explodes at the drop of a hat (or the throw of a tiny snowball). She can take up lots of space and be unapologetic. Marshmallow is also pure emotion. She doesn’t think about how her actions can impact people. Or she doesn’t really care.
She is also terrifying.
I don’t know about you, but I’m at a place where I no longer really want to be terrifying. At least not in everyday life.
And when it comes to this time of year, I’d rather be Olaf.
See, as winter starts to get closer and closer, things really begin to shift.
The days get darker and colder. The trees lose their leaves. The earth becomes more dry and hard. Everything gets a lot quieter.
And at the same time, the holiday season has the opposite effect.
Everything gets brighter and bigger. There’s holiday music playing literally everywhere. The expectations get higher, too.
It can be really tough when nature and culture are at odds.
It can be really easy to let the expectations get the better of you. Watch your stress levels rise as the list of what your kids want for Chanukah or Christmas or whatever winter holiday you celebrate gets longer. Feel your brain get tighter as you try to cram more and more things in there. Ignore the exhaustion creeping in as you stay up later and later each night trying to get as much done as you can before the holidays.
All you want to do is be like Olaf and enjoy the holidays.
Instead, this conflict is where Marshmallow thrives.
So how do you tame your inner Marshmallow and embrace your inner Olaf?
Listen to nature more and culture, less.
Which is not easy, am I right?
It’s hard not to want to do ALL THE THINGS, especially this time of year.
It’s also worth it.
Winter used to be really hard for me.
I’d get super stressed in December. I always felt like there was so much to do. So many presents to buy, except that I never quite knew what to get for the people I loved. I wanted to make the holidays special for my kids, but I didn’t rally want to play into the consumerism that equates holiday spirit with how much money you spend. And I wanted to wrap up the year with a pretty little bow, but it always felt like I had to tie up every loose end and finish every project, which left me feeling completely burnt out by the time New Year’s Eve rolled around.
Here’s the thing to remember:
Olaf and Marshmallow are created by the same woman. They are just different aspects of Elsa that she literally brings to life.
She creates Olaf as an expression of her joy.
She creates Marshmallow as an expression of her fear.
So when you feel like you’re about to unleash Marshmallow, a good question is ask is, “what am I afraid of right now?” or “Why am I pushing back?”
You can also check in with your inner Olaf and ask, “does this bring me joy? or Does this support my health?”
These questions might not immediately transform your Marshmallow into Olaf, but they will give you the opportunity to connect more deeply with your underlying energy, as well as what you really want.
And that’s a really good start.
And if you really want to learn how to tame your inner Marshmallow this holiday season, join me for a free workshop on how to use Ayurveda to align more with the season and nurture your nature. The workshop will be held online at 10:30am EST, Thursday December 6th. Sign up here to save your spot.
If you can’t make it live, there will be a recording (yay!).
Don’t miss this 1hr workshop, which will be chock full of great tips for supporting your health and sanity this season using simple self-care that is geared specifically for this time of year. Did I mention it’s free?
Sign up here, in case you haven’t already.