The holidays were already emotionally charged. Now add an unexpected event like a pandemic. Here are tips to thrive through the holidays in your own way.
Listen to the episode
Have a Plan and Share it Early
First, have a plan and share it early – take that band-aid off. Make a choice on how you will do the holidays based on what will work for you. In addition to counseling, setting limits is a form of self-care.
Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, and use that information to help you make wiser decisions, especially when it comes to self-careSource: PsychCentral
There is one way I learned to avoid being frustrated. Over the years I have had to remember that no else is me. In other words, I am the only one who has had my lived experience. That experience has been what has shaped how I interact with the world and perceive situations. That means that others may not have the same lived experience
1. Grieve, Then Put Things in Perspective.
Second, we have all lost some of our familiar and comforting routines. So, we need to grieve what we haven’t been able to do. On the other hand, it’s just one day, right? I shared a story in this episode about one Halloween that my daughter couldn’t be with me. It wasn’t my year to have her so she went with her father. I was bummed! One thing that helped me get through it was thinking, “it’s just one day”. In other words, it was going to ultimately be a moment in time.
2. Be Realistic
Next, be realistic and honest about what you can and can’t do to celebrate. For example, one thing that is tempting is to want to “go big” and makeup for the fact that the holidays are different. The problem with that approach, is that you may be adding unnecessary pressure to make things perfect. As a result, you may become stressed out. Avoid that trap and consider what you can do. Moreover, reflect on what will provide you with balance.
3. Create New Routines
Additionally, I remember being in a training years ago where the speaker was discussing the challenges associated with change. She explained that when you change something, you can unearth something else as a result. The speaker shared an example that stayed with me. She mentioned that when you move an item in an environment, you realize it was holding up a bunch of other items. For example, you move a book from a bookcase and everything comes tumbling down. How is this relevant? Changing what you do may reveal a new experience. And, you may actually enjoy this experience more than the original familiar routine.
Changing Things Up
I talked about changing things up to avoid stress during the holidays in a Episode 12: Five Tips to Avoid Stress This Holiday Season and a blog post here. This episode gets into how I went from buying gifts for co-workers to making goodies. I started making toffee with my sister. Just get baggies and ribbon – done! My co-workers seemed to enjoy this gift more than something I bought. Additionally, I had enough to give some toffee to mailman. Win-win for all.
Dime En Español
Sea realista y honesto acerca de lo que puede y no puede hacer para celebrar. Una cosa que es tentadora es querer “ir a lo grande” y compensar el hecho de que las vacaciones son diferentes. El problema con ese enfoque es que puede estar agregando una presión innecesaria para hacer las cosas perfectas. Como resultado, puede sentirse estresado. Evite esa trampa y considere lo que puede hacer. Además, reflexiona sobre lo que te proporcionará equilibrio.
4. It’s Okay to Say No
Also, as women, or at least this has been the case for me, it can be hard to say no. Maybe it’s related to how you have been raised, cultural expectations, birth order, or whatever, saying no can be hard. Setting limits with others may be bring up a lot for you and others. However, saying no to an activity or expectation might be something that will help you avoid unnecessary stress.
5. Gratitude Always Works
“In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.“Source: Harvard Health Publishing
Finally, practicing gratitude is my go to when I am feeling overwhelmed and negative. For example, when I get into the comparison trap and start to spiral in my own head. What I try to shift to is to think of how grateful I am for what I am NOT dealing with compared to others. Moreover, while some may have it easier than me, at the same time, some have it a lot harder. Additionally, I keep in mind that there are no guarantees. Life can change in an instant. So might as well enjoy it!
Rather listen to these posts instead of reading them? Check out the Don’t Mix In podcast. Join me as I dive into the topics from the blog. Don’t Mix In can be found on Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere you find your podcasts! If you are into what you hear, be sure to subscribe and leave me a review.
I just switched from Mailchimp to Flodesk for my email newsletter! Loving how creative I can be on this platform. Learn more by clicking on the image*
*Heads up, I receive a commission if you sign up. However, I’m truly into this platform.