Not everyone finds the holidays easy. Holidays are a time when we affirm family ties, bonds of friendship and love of life. But for those whose family rituals may have been interrupted by painful family dynamics, holidays can also bring back an emotional cocktail of warmth, excitement, hope, disappointment and longing. The emphasis on family closeness can bring up that old yearning for what was lost or may never have even had a chance towho have experienced painful holidays can find themselves entering the season warding off disturbing memories of yucky holiday scenes from the past. But having a sense of control over your experience can help a lot to reduce your inner stress
Get enough rest: This is critical. Feeling frazzeled makes everything feel overwhelming, annoying and generally worse.
Manage Stresses: Do less not more where possible. Everything gets blown out of proportion when we’re under stress. Take extra breaks.
Don’t over schedule Shop ahead: Have most presents bought and wrapped way ahead. This will lessen your feeling of burden and resentment as well as help with expense of last min shopping.
Enjoy holiday food but don’t go crazy: Savor all of your favorite ritual treats but don’t eat in a way you will regret later. More isn’t necessarily better.
Stay in the Present: Allow things to be just what they are at any given moment; stay out of past issues, this is a time to affirm what we do have, not keep regretting what we don’t have.
Enjoy the little things this season: The holiday season is filled with quiet moments of pleasure like street music and decoration, good smells and warm wishes. Let the warmth of the season fill you and get into those empty places, welcome the good feeling that surrounds the season.
Be open to healing: Sometimes just gathering and affirming the bonds of life and love can bring up pain that needs to be felt and healed. If that comes up just let it be, let it come forward be felt and pass.
Remember this is just another day. The holidays needn’t be over rater nor under rated. Move through them and let them move through you.
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About the AuthorTian Dayton PhD
Senior fellow at The Meadows, psychologist, psychodramatist, author Emotional Sobreity,ACoA Trauma Syndrome, Forgiving and Moving On, Huff Post blogger, speaker... Read More