Getting through the Holidays

Just “getting through the holidays” is a guiding mantra for some people. I’m here to help you do that, not try to convince you to do something more.

After all, there’s a reason you’ve taken that stance. So I won’t waste our time or energy arguing with you about it. If you ever want to talk, let me know, we can process together. And you can read about having good boundaries and stressing less if you missed those posts. They should help.

The following can help with getting through the holidays so read on.

In practical things,

Take care of yourself

Now is no time to neglect yourself. This is the time to step up your self-care efforts, not let them slide. That means, keep that appointment with your therapist, the doctor, the nail guy, your hairdresser… and do it for you, not because you HAVE TO in order to look good or prep for the party or keep from going crazy.

Do it for you. Because you know it’s good for you. And you’re worth it.

Schedule, yes, schedule time for exercise and activity.

This is the number one thing you can do to lift your mood. It’s an ongoing thing, but especially important when you’re feeling less than thrilled about life, or the holidays, or obligations etc.

It does not matter what you do. Just get moving. If you can do it outside, that’s even better. You need some vitamin D this time of year and you can’t get that sitting inside at your computer. But if you can’t get outside, just get moving. Even two 10 minute breaks for stretching and movement makes a huge difference.

Sleep

It’s the number one most rejuvenative action you can give your mind, body, and emotions. You need your sleep in order to process all the rest of what’s going on in your world. It’s good for all systems, physical, nervous, and emotional.

“To sleep, perchance to dream…”

Yep, that’s the aim! Dreams help sort things out in your subconscious. They shake things loose, makes sense of things and often happen nearest the end of your sleep session, most vividly during REM sleep. I know you might not remember them, but they’re still at work, shaking it all loose.

If you can remember them and you want help making sense of them, I love helping people with that. Give me a call.

Just do get your rest. Seven to nine hours is optimum for adults. More on sleep at the podcast here. Let me know if I can help you make adjustments there as well.

Plan distracting fun

Who says you have to just do the regular plotting of this holiday function, then that one, this obligation and the next. Plan something that matters to you and stick to the plan.

Maybe it’s going to hear a favorite local band and dancing. Maybe there’s an antiques show you’ve been meaning to hit. Could be you have a hankering for a good old-fashioned outta-the-way cafe pie. Go find it. And enjoy it.

No one says you have to do everything the same year after year from November to mid-January.

Respect your limits

Don’t ask yourself to DO TOO MUCH. Do you normally NOT DO social engagements every single weekend? Then make sure you don’t do them just because it’s the holidays.

Tired of eating the family meal on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, AND Boxing Day? Opt out of one of them. You can do it. No one will wilt.

And if you do enjoy those gatherings, well, enjoy them.

Respect other people’s limits too

Maybe put less pressure on all the people around you to have the exact relationship with the events. You are you. They are separate human beings with a will, intrinsic value, and worthy of respect. They’re not on the planet to give you what you need and want.

Let them do what they want to do as well. I mean this especially if they are adults. I’m not saying you should let your children run the show over the holidays and dictate where you go and what all you do.

But if they are also overwhelmed, it might be great to listen to what’s going on with them and make an adjustment. Do less, not more.

Find Meaning Elsewhere

Often people struggle with the holiday season because it brings up other painful memories. Coupled with the emphasis on family, couple-hood, peace, bliss, joy, and Norman Rockwell togetherness, it can be a time to starkly realize what’s missing versus what one does have. It can bring up lack instead of inspiring gratitude and joyous thanksgiving.

That’s okay.

Intentionally focus meaning elsewhere. Decide what might help. Are you working extra hard on that January project coming up at work? Is it the year to win the volleyball tournament? Want to focus on that novel you’ve been meaning to write or the art you want to get back to?

Do it. Make it your priority during this time and let all the hullaballoo over the holidays melt away.

Make the most of the time

After all, time is the one thing none of us will get back. So do make the most of each single day in its own right. Measure the success of your day one day at a time. Do your thing, feel your feels, engage your mind just for today. And make today the best single day it can be.

And do this ON the holiday(s) too, even if you end up spending them alone or almost alone, even if you spend them doing something you don’t like doing, even if you can think of a million places you’d rather be. Just one day at a time, show up for THAT day and see how well you can stay present during it.

Even distasteful things might not be as distasteful if you engage your five senses, pay attention, and stay present for them.

Especially regular holidays where you’re doing the same thing every year will explode into new experiences if you pay attention to them on the senses level. What do you smell, see, taste, hear, and feel?

You might surprise yourself.

Time does fly. Before you know it, you will have gotten through another round of holidays. Just maybe this year, you’ll realize you’ve done a bit of good living right through the middle of them.

Can I help in any way? Give me a call or send a message.

 

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