Heal for the Holidays….
For many, the holidays are typically filled with big emotions. Whether it’s the excitement of decorating, the thrill of gift exchange, the warmth of spending time with family members, or the satisfaction of enjoying treats along the way, this time can be very exciting and can bring a lot of joy to our lives- which is what we all need in 2020, right?!
Along with these exciting feelings, though, we can also be led to feeling heavier big emotions, whether we feel exhausted from all of the hustle and bustle, overrun by preparing and trying to keep up with the many events, overstimulated by the increased socializing (especially after these times of isolation from COVID-19), or even grief stricken by the ties of painful memories or strained relationships.
Regardless of the big feeling that is present, it is vital that we all go into this season with the intention of prioritizing our self-care and being aware of our feelings as we navigate all of the busyness. Here are a few tips you can utilize that might help to keep you more present and able to more fully enjoy the highs, and also feel more stable and equipped as you navigate the lows.
- Schedule time for you. Be intentional about regularly setting aside time for yourself to do things that give you what you need for that week- whether that’s relaxation, a nutritious snack, physical movement, or a chance to just “be”. Mark it on your to-do list, plan it on your calendar. But make sure it’s scheduled.
- Set boundaries and practice keeping them. Determine physical and emotional boundaries that need to be put into place for you and your family during this season and mentally prepare yourself for moments that you need to keep them- like when that one family member wants to ask all of the personal questions or you’ve signed up for one too many holiday gatherings. Saying “no” to others, or simply saying “yes” to yourself during this time, just might be your best friend.
- Practice and utilize grounding and relaxation techniques. Scheduling self-care is great, but it is also important to be prepared for the times when you need to center yourself in the moment. Whether this looks like utilizing breathing techniques, journaling, short meditations, or speaking affirmations over yourself. Just be sure to pay attention to the moment, and ask yourself “what do I need right now to feel a *little bit better*.
- Extend grace to yourself and others. Attempt to understand why you or others might be experiencing negative emotions and try to extend a little extra grace during this time of high emotion. Remember to be mindful and practice awareness of underlying feelings. What’s the “thought behind the thought?” Or “the feeling behind the feeling?”
- Remember the reason for the season. Corny, but true! Take time to consciously identify your “why” for all of the festivities this season and what it means to you and your family, so that you don’t lose sight of these and commit time and energy to things that support these values or intentions.
Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally is often the key to getting the most out of your time and activities. Enjoy the season ahead and use this time to strengthen bonds, make memories, and have fun! Just remember to take care of yourself in the meantime.
The Made Well Team