As the trees transform their lush green into glorious hues of gold, red, and orange, I am enlivened by the promise of change and upcoming shared holidays. Thanksgiving is my personal favorite—basking in the bounty of nourishing foods, relaxing in warm lit rooms, and spending time with those I love. This time of year, I take stock of all the life lived in the previous months, I inhale and prepare for the stillness of the hibernating space of winter.
Despite the hope for a picture-perfect holiday, it does not always unfold so neatly. It is common to feel loss, longing, and disappointment throughout the season of celebrations and gratitude. We encounter relationships and are reminded of lost traditions which highlight the aches we hold in our hearts. For some, the holidays bring feelings of both love and loss, sometimes in equal measure.
As with much of life, we can’t control how others relate to us and we can’t always orchestrate the circumstances around us. What we can do is take charge of our own thoughts and responses—to tend to our experiences.
Here are some ways meaning and nourishment can be brought to the holidays wherever you find yourself this season.
Take a Fresh Look at the Rituals Defining Your Celebrations
Choose what activities satisfy you versus doing what feels like only fulfilling obligation
Release old recipes and gift expectations with surprising menus and deliberate choices to gift others and yourself
Recognize that Holidays Can be Hard
Avoid “should” when making plans and choose activities that feel like a resounding “Yes!”
Be gentle with yourself by allowing time and space to either be with encouraging others or find time alone (allow the same for others)
Seek out someone to talk to if you feel unable to do it alone, whether it be clergy, a therapist, or a trusted mentor
Attend to Your Body to Reduce Stress
Move in an enjoyable way, especially if you can enjoy nature
Breathe deeply before, during, and after events to calm the body and remain present in the moment
Find ways to choose nourishing foods in the midst of the treats to keep the mind and body strong during stress
If the holidays lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression, we can help.
Please call (630) 286-0993 for a free consultation to discover how you can thrive during the season and work towards your best self.