Are you wondering how to navigate the holidays and stay aligned with your inner values? This blog post is for you!
‘Tis the season for sharing time with family and loved ones. Fair to say, we look forward to creating beautiful and joyful memories with and for our families but frequently stress pays a visit and, if not managed, triggers us to feel anxious even over the little things. Safeguarding ourselves to recognize and understand our triggers is vital if we are to survive the normal stressors of the holidays with a joy-filled heart.
As we explore our journey through life, identifying our stressors is the first step. We all have them, and most stem from unresolved insecurities.
Knowing what makes us feel uneasy is essential for self-preservation. Acknowledging when and how our mood changes, and what causes this change is critical. Accepting that mood fluctuates depending on our body’s natural cycles is part of healthy self-care.
Often times, during the holidays, it is easy to feel low or even experience depression, higher levels of stress, social anxiety, mild unhappiness. If there are any buried emotions that are not managed, subconsciously they will trigger unease, which can have a direct impact on our health and holiday spirit.
Navigate the Holidays by being kind to yourself and following a few simple tips:
This is a list of joyful and straightforward steps to not only help prepare you for the holidays but how to navigate the holidays with a joyful heart. Remember, you are the gift!
- If you are feeling really low or inconsolably sad and/or experience deep feelings of hopelessness, please, please speak to a trained professional. Never ever feel shame about talking to someone. We are living in a world with many trigger factors to cause us pain, and you are not alone. Think of it this way if you had a broken bone, you would see a doctor. The brain is so amazing, and it too needs to be looked after. You can call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit them online. They provide a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
- Identify the things that bring you genuine joy-filled moments. These moments can present themselves unexpectedly throughout the day and it has helped me to track each one – I do this so that when I’m feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or down I can remember these things that bring me joy and refocus on my goals for the day. In my blog post ‘How are you actively creating more joy in your life?‘ I offer tips on mindful joy seeking that may be helpful.
- Plan how you’d like the holiday to feel. Once you identify how you want your holiday to be you can then set manageable goals and plan a task list for each day to accomplish your vision.
- It’s your calendar, mark it with fun things for YOU to do. It’s hard to have holidays with meaning if you don’t make time for the things that bring you joy. Remember and acknowledge that it’s your holiday too. It’s ok to take specific time off and make that time about things that bring you joy.
- Set a budget for your holidays. Stop making others wealthy by getting yourself in debt. A ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ mindset to the holidays can not only stress us but can make us do foolish things like overspend. Skip the unnecessary holiday debt and above all keep to your budget, and don’t buy things on impulse!
- Respect your non-negotiables list. If you don’t have such a list take a few minutes to write one up. Ask yourself what your values are. Think about the things you won’t allow to affect you. “What is a non-negotiable and why do I need one?” you ask… this is a great post by Kelsey Aida that will help you understand and identify your non-negotiable list.
- Moderate your food and alcohol consumption. Holiday parties, office gatherings, and last-minute get-togethers are par for the course during the holiday season. Navigate the holidays with ease by sticking to a simple plan. Don’t overindulge! When we overindulge with food or alcohol we instantly create feelings of guilt.
- Think twice before saying yes. Regardless of what it is. “No, thank you.” is a full sentence. No explanation needed. Remember, the holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint. So set your own pace. Practice saying “no” without guilt. It can be difficult, but it must be done.
- Keep to your healthy daily routines such as journaling, reading, sketching, meditation, exercising, or healthy cooking. Whatever it is that you do each day to keep you grounded and in touch with your soul-self, don’t overlook your daily routine as you navigate the holidays.
- Accept help from others when they offer. Be clear in what you need and how they can best help you accomplish your goals/tasks. Most people are happy to help as long as they clearly understand what you want, and they have enough time to provide support.
- Manage your expectations for the family gathering. It may help you to reflect on what went well from past holidays and keep to that script. It may also help you to think ahead and prepare for any “what ifs” that may pop up. During your family gathering take time to be an observer and appreciate the moments that bring you joy.
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