Here it is – the holiday season, and with it comes an assortment of stresses. Isn’t it supposed to be joy, bliss, peace and all that jazz? You may find yourself spending time with family or friends you’re not particularly fond of, entertaining guests, traveling, figuring out what to cook, deciding what to wear for various functions, and in the midst of it all – you’re supposed to be able to enjoy it all, right?
It may feel as if all the therapy, self-reflection, and assertiveness work you have done to become whole and strong somehow flies out the window as soon as family convenes. All of the mental preparation disappears into a fog of confusion. Have you noticed that? You feel like a 12-year old child again, with the same patterns rearing their ugly head. Don’t expect that everyone will have miraculously changed in the past year. You know your uncle is going to say the same old inappropriate and annoying lines, you can expect that someone might criticize you, and you will likely get “the look” from your Mother.
So what do you do about it all?
You can learn to laugh it off, not take it personally and set some boundaries for yourself. Remember – we are all doing the best we can with where we are in our lives and our growth. My father has the most wonderful way of sharing this sentiment” “Please forgive me, for my consciousness is under construction.” Wise words indeed.
Here are a few tips to help you cope:
- Be okay with saying no to spending time with certain people, or simply make the time commitment shorter and stick to it.
- House guests: set some guidelines and boundaries, pay for their hotel room if you can – what a great holiday gift! Put away all the precious objects that might get broken. When people offer comments that sting, smile and ignore the words – do NOT engage – that will only prompt more of the same. Their stay with you is for a very short time.
- As Gandhi would say: “Be the change you wish to see.” Just be who you are and perhaps some may notice your strength. You can always break a few plates or throw a few things around in your garage later. (haha!)
- Come up with a mantra/saying for yourself that you can repeat when your blood begins to boil. For example: “I choose to feel good.”
- Drinking more might drown it all out and seem like a good idea, but could create loose lips that say things to make things worse. And you can never take back spoken words. Once they’re out, they’re out.
- Dressing – try to be slightly over-dressed, rather than be embarrassed. I recall going to a event in my 20’s. My date wore very casual shorts so I thought I would be fine in nice jeans – well, I showed up to meet his group of friends for the first time to find out all the women were in dresses. I vowed then to always make sure I knew what the dress code was before I attended an event.
- Pick up a few extra little gifts to have on hand for those unexpected surprises, and have them nicely wrapped too.
- Plan a vacation away for the holidays.
- This is not the time of year to go on a diet. (they never work anyway) Let yourself enjoy the season. Ensure you continue your workout routine as much as you can. Never go to a party hungry. Have a snack first, that way you won’t over indulge.
- Take time out for yourself, let go of some of the holiday rush rush… a nice hot lavender bath, a massage, a Reiki session, a long walk outside in nature… nourish yourself with what feeds your soul!
Cherish the time with family, friends and co-workers. Try to slow things down if you can, to fully enjoy this time of celebration. Do a bit less and have less stress. Put on your Santa hat and have some fun!
I wish you an abundant winter filled with much love, passion and adventure. As always I am here to support you in this life journey and love your feedback.