Many of us experience a wide range of feelings, needs, and expectations during this time of year. Seeing the ads on tv, holiday movies, and pictures of an “idealistic” holiday can bring added pressure on ourselves. Unresolved feelings, needs, and expectations can add to our stress levels. This can cause us to use old patterns of behaviours and strategies without recognizing we’ve fallen back into those old traps. When this happens, we may be left with feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness.
Creating new ways of coping, creating new memories, and changing our thoughts helps. Reading some of our other blogs over the last few weeks may also help with some of the topics we discuss. Holidays can be joyous and fun, it’s time to create that space and ways to do that for yourself.
Here are some tips and techniques to help with this:
- Sit down and write down all your feelings about the holidays. If you aren’t sure what you’re feeling or have a hard time labeling your feelings, this list might help.
- Write down the expectations -imagined (the perfect family holiday, think of Norman Rockwell photos) and real (life is messy, think of Christmas Vacation). Then list all the feelings that might bring up for you. Yes, we know, this is a heavy lift. You might not get all of it at once, that’s okay, we aim for more awareness, not perfection.
- Write down a list of things that you would like to experience over the holidays – more time with friends, meaningful gifts and interactions are some examples. Then think of ways for you to create this for yourself.
- Create space and time for yourself to practice mindfulness, restorative yoga, taking time out in nature, and grounding yourself.
- Start new “traditions” for yourself. Instead of making a big elaborate meal that might take weeks to prepare, preorder your dinner or whatever might make the holidays less stressful for you. Explore other holiday opportunities such as winter solstice events.
- Have fun (sing to holiday songs, get up and dance), find opportunities to create laughter, enjoyment, and low key things.
I recently, experienced some feelings, needs, and expectations around the holidays. I had some expectations and attachments to some old mindsets around the holidays. This created some friction in my relationship with a family member. With this new awareness, I was able to move through it and have a conversation with my family member.
We offer wellness coaching, meditation, and restorative yoga to help support you.
Note: We are not Therapists, Registered Counsellors, Psychologists, and or Medical doctors. We are survivors ourselves, who offer support groups and services that help complement traditional therapies and medications. At no time are we providing a diagnosis or making medical recommendations. It is always recommended you speak with a Health Care Professional before making any changes.