Hi Soul Family,
I am so happy to share our official first Thanksgiving Day with you. I am so thankful for all of you- those I know and those of you I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your love and support! This is the work that lights me up, and I am so grateful to be able to share it with you.
Now let’s talk about the nitty-gritty about the holidays and how to stay sane. For me personally, I enjoy the holiday gatherings, movies, specialty coffee drinks (pumpkin spice lattes, peppermint mocha, am I right?!), and the spirit of the holidays. Most of all, I enjoy creating memories full of love and magic for my children and spending time with my family.
I am by no means a “crafty” mom or very good at cooking or even hosting big holiday events. I am that busy mom who prefers to drive far to my family’s house and show up with a bottle of wine, a healthy alternative like veggies, and my appetite. Yes, I am also that mom that has to get everyone ready and myself to be out the door “on time” while I am yelling at the kids to stop fighting and help me get stuff in the car so we can be an hour late because we should have left on time, but my son had to go poop as we were getting into the car. No joke. Being a mom of four boys and an entrepreneur has me busy, busy, busy. (Side note- Is it just my kids’ schools that require three different volunteering events plus money plus their outfits for their Thanksgiving and Winter shows?)
So even if you are nothing like me, I know we all have our struggles and challenges around this magical time of year. If you are completely stress free, then my hats off to you, and will you help me sew this costume for my son’s musical? Thanks!
If you are no stress-free and would like to have some sanity, then here are 3 tips to help you:
#1: Know yourself and get prepared! This is a big one. We all know ourselves pretty well and what lights us up and what triggers us or stresses us out too.
Take a moment to identify some events and tasks you will be engaging in this month and next month. Perhaps you can plan for Thanksgiving Day, your kid’s play, a project for work, a work party, gift exchanges, your holiday celebrations, getting shopping done, and so on. Yes, it will help you to plan these tasks out, but that is not what this is about. Getting prepared means energetically, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Now identify your triggers that might pop up for you around this time. Finally, identify tools and strategies you can use- what works for you, what has worked in the past, what you can do to move through it, work around it or with it, and/or cope with it.
Since I am an empath, I definitely have to mentally and energetically prepare myself to be out in large crowds. I have to schedule a time and day around when a store or mall, for example, will be least crowded in attempts to avoid getting anxious, overwhelmed, and energetically drained. If, for some reason, I have to be out in super crowded places, then I know I can always be prepared with my coping tool of deep breathing during that time. I also prepare myself before I walk into a crowded area by placing a protective light around me. When I walk out, I cleanse my energy after so I don’t hold into other people’s energy and emotions. I usually keep a protect, grounding stone and essential oils in my purse that help also especially when I am cleansing and destressing.
Another example is many people get triggered by their family members at family gatherings. If you know you are one of those people and you know your mom is going to guilt-trip you, your dad is going to comment on your work and love life, or your siblings are going to piss you off then get prepared (I have none of this with my family, but I know many people who do). Know your triggers, make a plan on how to respond to your triggers, when they come up, in a way that is helpful to you.
#2- Get support- The holidays can be a time of high stress, sadness, depressed mood, or loneliness for many people. If this is you, then get support from those around you. The holidays can be a tough time of year for many of us. This is the time to lean on each other and support one another. Support can also mean unapologetically asking for help when needed. Even if this is asking your kids or significant other to help out more with things that need to get done or more snuggle time. Or plopping on girlfriend’s couch with a glass of wine or meeting up for some coffee to talk about life, or whatever.
Support might come from your friends, family, a supportive group you are involved with, church or a religious organization, therapist, coach or healer, or a coworker you can confide in. If you do not have any support systems, then there are tons of free resources to connect to some. Some ideas are you can join a facebook group (there are tons!), local groups through meetup.com, or a therapeutic support group which you can do an internet search for your issue in your area, i.e., grief and loss support group, and see what comes up in your area. You can even call 2-1-1, or search on 211.org.
#3- Self-care! Selfcare is my answer to many things. I can’t stress enough to take care of your energy, your mind, your emotions, and your body. You do not have to deplete yourself just because it is a busy time of the year. Plan your duties, responsibilities, and talks out and in there include self-care time.
Schedule time to sit and relax, reflect, meditate, give gratitude, or go on a walk to elevate yourself and your mind, body, spirit. Set reminders on your phone to stop and breathe and drink water to stay hydrated. Most of all, be selective with your time and energy, especially around the busy holidays. This may come in the form of practices or daily rituals, or it might come in the form of saying, “no, thank you” or “no, not right now.” I give you full permission to delegate tasks, place some responsibilities and relationships on hold, and not overload yourself with to-dos that do not progress your life or your family’s life towards your goals.
Hope this gives you a few good ideas to help you prepare and stay more balanced during the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
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