Whether you are looking forward to the holidays or not, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll experience stress in one form or another. Still, there are ways to get through the season unscathed and possibly even satisfied and fulfilled. Here are some reminders to help you through:
– Check in with yourself periodically throughout each day. How are you feeling? Are emotions coming up? What is your body experiencing? What do you need right now? What are those smaller parts of you – the barely audible voices, trying to tell you? Try to come up with a way to meet those needs while also maintaining the integrity you’d like to have with the rest of the world.
– Set small, achievable goals. If you’ve still got a big to-do list, try tackling the easiest items first, then work your way up. Also consider what you can let go of – who will really notice and/or care if something doesn’t get done perfectly?
– Know when to stick to your plans and when to be flexible. This includes your meal plan. Ask someone to hold you accountable so you’re not tempted to restrict at any time. And give yourself some slack to also enjoy the foods you like.
– Find someone safe to sit next to, especially come meal time. Social and family gatherings can bring a plethora of personalities together. Chances are you already know who’s going to bring something toxic to the table and who won’t. Who can you enlist to bail you out of an uncomfortable situation? Establish some SOS signals beforehand.
– Be curious about your surroundings. What and who are you drawn to? What or who can you learn more about? Initiate conversation by asking someone questions about themselves. Keep the focus on them and only share what you’re comfortable sharing about yourself.
– Have fun. Even in the most challenging of situations, you can always rely on yourself to provide some relief and entertainment. That could mean taking a break and going outside for a breath of fresh air. Or maybe initiating a board game or a round of charades.
Chances are, you’re gonna get through through this one way or another, so why not take a few proactive steps to make this a memorable occasion?
Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season ~ see you in 2020!
Copyright 2019 © Rachel Braun, All rights reserved.
Rachel Braun, ATR-BC, LPC Art Therapist Philadelphia, PA
Specializing in anxiety, depression and eating disorders.