My brother and sister-in-law cancelled Christmas. Not really. But they did make the choice to postpone hosting a large family gathering because they just don’t have the extra energy to pull this off. I get it. And, I’m hearing stories just like this all around me.
This time of year can be particularly emotional, intense and taxing on our relationships. And gatherings can be stressful if you’re not mindful and aware of your own needs before circling up with others.
Entering this season 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, I always ask myself, “How bad do you want to feel good?”
- Scheduling post-holiday support now. Book that counseling, mentoring or coaching appointment (read more) for January 2, plan a walk with a favorite friend for later this month, organize a nourishing girl’s or guy’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 month. There is a reason rates of depression jump around the holidays. Many people are grappling with deep loss, feelings of loneliness and most are experiencing a wide spectrum of emotions. Add to that the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic (and subsequent fallout) and you have a perfect storm for emotional mayhem. 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 IN FINDING BALANCE & RESILIENCY?
- Dec. 19th, Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m. ET (*Live/Virtual*) SOVEREIGNTY: A Winter Solstice Retreat A luscious, replenishing afternoon retreat with like-minded women. Poetry + singing + journaling + nature + connection + solo time + small groups + self-care resources + Yoga Nidra deep relaxation session. Step in to your personal power and sovereignty. ALMOST FULL! Learn more/register.
- Wild Souls Nature Adventures (based in Brevard, NC) offers magical, nature-based programs and practices to help you feel more grounded, alive and resilient. Join us this week for mindfulness nature walks, Wild Souls Dance, Winter Solstice yoga & relaxation and more. Read more and sign up to get notices!
- **NEW 2021-2022 Retreats**~ learn more. I just announced THREE new Awakening Your Wild Soul: A Women’s Self-Renewal 2022 retreats. Join me at 1440 Multiversity (CA), Art of Living Retreat Center (NC), Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (MA) and I’ll be doing a very special Dec. 19th one-day Winter Solstice Sovereignty retreat. Save your spot now; we fully anticipate these will sell out.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/speaker and self-care author 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, AARP, 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 pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. Renee lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where she just launched Wild Souls Nature Adventures. Originally from Austin, TX, she and her husband are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.