For the most part the Holidays are full of smiles, joy, choosing compassion, taking more time with the ones who matter, a genuine slowing down to smell the holly and evergreen, and the warm fuzzies of giving gifts and watching people’s smiles light up like a Christmas tree.
There are also some other experiences during the holidays that are not as yummy. When you cram one or two or more families into a house or room, there are bound to be some underlying tensions and maybe not so subtle tensions.
The surly aunt, the drunk uncle, the racist grandfather, the judgment about your body, or the questions about your love life, job, and accomplishments, not to mention making sure to buy the right presents. There is a lot of pressure to get things right, and act right, and be nice. It’s the holidays after all.
But what happens when we just can’t cope or keep our cool with all the extra stress and pressure?
We need to increase our resources, internally and externally.
I am going to share 4 tips I share with my clients when they notice they are getting lost in the hustle and bustle and losing their holiday spirit.
If you are an empath or introvert these tips will be exceptionally helpful as well!
1. Maintain or Increase Self-Care
Now is not the best time to throw out all of your self-care habits.
Many people are ‘all or nothing’ about their self-care routine during holidays.
“It’s the holidays” becomes something people say to just throw away all sense of self-care in order to maintain wellbeing.
It is also not the time to be overly militant about self-care either, and not letting your self enjoy things you would not normally indulge in. Moderation is awesome, you can have your cake and eat it to when you don’t eat the whole cake!
Be easy about making sure you stay tuned up.
Get some exercise, maintain water intake, get sleep or take some naps, mind your nutrition without being too strict, do the things that work for you. You will feel so much better, there are ways to weave self care into the holiday schedule if you prioritize.
Get up 15 minutes earlier, call it a night 30 minutes earlier, it’s not that hard to do, but will make a world of difference to your mood and energy levels.
Don’t over-drink or over-eat too much. When you eat too much fat or sugar your body is thrown into a state of nutritional stress. Your organs overwork, which leaves less energy for you to manage the relationship dynamics. If you want to enjoy yourself, inevitably you need extra tolerance and patience, which are hard to conjure up when your body is out of whack and overworking.
Treat yourself like you would a loved one. And you will have more joy and energy no matter the circumstances that arise.
2. Take a Conscious Moment
My favourite ways to reset while at events, and especially family functions, is to prioritize setting and resetting my energy.
What the heck does that mean? Right, yep I hear you.
Setting the energy
Intention, and focus resets our energy.
Before going to the event I stop, breathe, and centre myself. I make sure I am present and that I am resourced.
Resetting the energy
If I start to get agitated and let my mind attach too much to frustrations I will go literally shake off my body. Yes, I shake my body and it feels so much better. There are entire studies about how healing shaking is, so just take my word for it and try it.
Or perhaps go for a walk. Or take a shower. None of these things take too long or will deter from the holiday happenings.
My go-to is going to the bathroom to regroup. It is naturally a private place. People don’t ask too many questions if you say you need to go to the bathroom. You can do what works for you, if it’s prayer, soothing self-talk, or just a breath.
Take these little reset moments seriously. Maybe even set a reminder on your phone.
You will be able to handle stress far better when it is not a constant burn. You get to take breathers. Then you get to be more you with the people you love, even if they are being difficult.
3. Don’t Judge Yourself
Time and time again my clients will come to their session burnt out, overdrawn, and especially vulnerable after time with their family.
Often, nothing goes terribly wrong in an overt way, so on top of their exhaustion they also judge themselves for feeling off. They shouldn’t feel that way they say. They should be grateful for all the good things. We need both. Honouring our own experience, no matter what it may be, will allow for the stuck emotions to move so we can get back to a natural state of gratitude.
Few things are as emotionally toxic as self judgement. Let it go.
4. Get the Stress and Drama on a Page and Out of your Body
Brain Dump in the evening to get all the little stresses out of your system. From seemingly little things, to big blow-outs, just get it out. Don’t analyze or fix, or try to be right, just write and let the words flow on the page, whatever is true for you, write it down to let it out.
Make sure to rip up the pages beyond comprehension when you are done writing so no one finds your written rants and reads them at the dinner table!
Brain Dump Intructions:
Get a writing utensil, and paper.
Write without thinking too much, let yourself be petty and grumpy, don’t worry about grammar, don’t worry about being fair, Jesus loves you no matter what remember 😉
Get the emotions and reactions all onto the page so you don’t bottle it all up then explode in passive-aggressive or aggressive-aggressive ways.
People will be people. Don’t take everything seriously or personally. Even grumpy judgey people don’t really want to be grumpy and judgey. Love can go a long way to change how you experience your holiday.
If someone offends you or hurts you, find your way back to love. It is far easier when you maintain a good relationship with your own self first. Try these tips this holiday season and see what a little self-resourcing can do for your spirit.