How to Survive the Holidays Part 2

How to Survive the Holidays Part 2

Welcome back to our holiday survival guide!

Last week, we explored how gaining awareness of ourselves and those around us is crucial in not only surviving the holidays, but thriving. 

This week, we explore the next three guideposts in surviving the holidays.

 

Guidepost 3: Time to evaluate

There are two main questions for this guidepost:

Was this Thanksgiving break a time of relaxation and reprieve (or did work become the escape)?

Overall, what do you want your holidays to look like? 

Both are great questions as we continue to dive into a holiday experience that brings rejuvenation, rest, and joy. I encourage you to journal or talk to a close friend about your answers here. Take some time and really explore them.

Thanksgiving was probably a good precursor to how the Christmas holidays will go. If it resulted in higher stress for you, this is the perfect time to evaluate what you would like to do for December. How you spend the time during the holidays matters. For many, this is one of the only breaks from work or school that they will receive all year. It is vital that there are some moments of rest.

Which leads me to the next guidepost… 


Guidepost 4: Know yourself and what you need

Here are your two main questions for this guidepost:

How do you recharge during your time off?

What can you add in during the holiday time to assist with that?

Again, Thanksgiving can be a great learning experience. If you felt burnt out or exhausted after this holiday, then you now have the opportunity and time to evaluate. How can you be creative during this upcoming Christmas vacation to add in moments of recharge and rest? 

For the clients I work with, I encourage them to add in moments that incorporate their senses, inner child, and relationships. Let me explain. Your five senses are used daily to experience the world around you. Each of us have things that we love to experience, whether that be through taste, sight, sound, smell, or touch. Adding in moments on a daily basis that bring you joy is so vital to thriving in this life. During the holidays, I know that a walk outside does wonders for my mood and stress levels. I love to hear the birds in the morning and spend time in nature. It helps me focus. For others, it is the feeling of a warm blanket wrapped around them with hot cocoa. 

This then also plays into your inner child. We are all passionate about different things. Incorporate those things this Christmas! Allow your creativity and playfulness to emerge. This can be through decorating the house, getting crafty, or implementing hobbies you enjoy (like baking cookies).

For moments that incorporate relationships, spend time with those around you who build into you, encourage you, and see you for who you are. These are the life giving moments that can happen as you take a walk with a friend, share a good meal with someone, or grab a cup of coffee since it’s freezing out. (Yes, I was born and raised in Florida. I get cold when a breeze blows.)

I would also encourage you to spend time with yourself. This is a relationship that is often neglected but so vital. Take a walk, read a good book, enjoy some yoga, build something new, or tear apart a car. This alone time is also recharging and necessary, just like the relational time with others is. 

And lastly…

 

Guidepost 5: No.

It’s a complete sentence. You are allowed to say it, especially if an environment, outing, or family member has been shown to be unsafe.

You are not obligated to attend any gathering or talk to every family member.

I know that this goes against so many things you have been told and is uncomfortable to even acknowledge. However, part of thriving during the holiday season is realizing that you can protect yourself, even here. You are worth protecting. (Read that sentence again.) You do not need to relive the childhood trauma you endured because the person who hurt you decided they want you to come for Christmas dinner. 

No is a complete sentence. 

 

Thanks for joining me on the guideposts to surviving the holiday season.

If you have any other guideposts you would like mentioned or broken down, leave a comment below and I’ll add them into the next post.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

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