I have 21 adults and children coming to my house this week for a Christmas gathering. I’m a little nervous. This time of year can be particularly emotional, intense and taxing on our relationships (to say the least). And gatherings can be stressful if you’re not mindful and aware of your own needs before circling up with others.
Entering the next two weeks intentionally and with a bit of emotional self-care preparation and planning could be the best gift you could receive this holiday. Consider:
- Staying in your own rowboat. We are all energy beings but we often forget this when we gather as a clan. Feeling off? It may not be you. Own your own stuff, but be mindful to not absorb other people’s anger, sadness or frustration.
- Making rest a priority (read more). We can get really cranky really fast if we’re over-doing, going to bed too late or committing to things that don’t feed us. At our family gathering this week, we’ll have a dedicated “nap room” for guests.
- Setting a hard beginning and ending time for visits. A really sweet time can head south fast if folks overstay their welcome. Make sure and get on the same page about the length of celebrations and stays.
- Dropping expectations. Enough said. We can get bent out of shape when we don’t go with the flow and practice “good is good enough.”
- Keeping your self-care at the top of your to-do list. Stay hydrated, eat nutrient-dense foods, keep sugar and alcohol to a minimum and move your body every day! I’m all for indulging occasionally, but ultimately, “How bad do you want to feel good?”
- Scheduling post-holiday support now. Book that therapy or coaching appointment for Jan.2, plan a walk with a favorite friend or mentor, organize a nourishing girl’s or boy’s night out. These touch points will help you recalibrate and find your center post-holiday craziness.
- Focusing on connection. When attending a family gathering, I always ask myself, “What if this were the last time I were to see _______?” This puts things in perspective. I love the reminder: You can be right or you can be in relationship.
Be extra compassionate and understanding with yourself, your loved ones and friends this week. The suicide rate always jumps around the holidays. Many people are grappling with deep loss, feelings of loneliness and most are experiencing a wide spectrum of emotions (read How to Embrace Your Shadow Side). When in doubt, be generous and kind.
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- Schedule me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. Learn more and email me at email@example.com to discuss your next event.
- Ready to embrace new ways of being in 2020? Come replenish and recharge with like-minded women at my New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat: Jan. 24-26 at Kripalu in the MA Berkshire Mountains (highly recommended!). Almost sold out-don’t delay!
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 17-year-old son. More on Renee here.