The holidays – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc. are times that come loaded with expectations. The winter holidays are a time when most of us feel that we should feel happy, we should have some time off to rest, we should have people to be around – people that love us and make us feel that we are not alone during such important moments of the year. We may also have a general expectation that we should feel better after the holidays and ready for the New Year. We may feel that we should receive from those that we have served or be able to give in a way that provokes gratitude and deeper admiration and respect in others.
Perhaps you don’t identify with these expectations but with a bleaker set of feelings. Maybe past holidays have brought the pain of loneliness, hurt, family chaos or arguments.
Whichever side of the spectrum you find yourself on this holiday season here are some things to keep in mind to assure that you will find some time to rest.
- Take stock of your expectations. Do some of them need to be adjusted?
Plan ahead rather than just expecting things to happen in one way or another.
- What do the holidays mean to you? What traditions do you want to live out and pass on to your loved ones? How can you plan ahead to make sure there are some meaningful moments of giving and receiving for you this holiday season?
- There will be things that you can’t control in your family or circumstances. Be aware of these things and plan around them. Perhaps this will mean mentally preparing for Christmas dinner as a moment to be actively working to help others get through the moment – while you know that later on you will have some time to enjoy and relax.
- Think about what helps you to rest. What is it for you? Getting outside to enjoy the sunshine and beauty of nature? Shopping? Spending time with friends? Reading in a quiet place? Dancing? Praying? Going to a concert? Volunteering? Set at least a few moments aside for these things. Try to make sure everything in place so that the success of these moments is safeguarded – the babysitter, communication with everyone that’s schedule will be affected, etc.
All of us at Life Skills Resource Group wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season. May it be an opportunity for you to experience something new, something that gives you hope that you can make progress forward in life toward your full happiness and thriving!