HAPPY HOLIDAYS MY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! I love this time of year because I’m obsessed with: holiday music, cookies, Netflix marathons, gifts, and joy. And for me, that’s what December signifies.
However, the holidays can cause massive amounts of stress + sadness + anxiety for lots of people. So while you’re busy diving into holiday shenanigans + grandma’s cookies (which I hope you are!), try to remember these 6 things.
Family looks different to everyone.
During the holidays, your social feeds fill up with joyful families + people sharing how grateful they are for their humans. For some people, that’s tough to see. Especially if your family situation looks anything but traditional and happy. Or, if you can’t make it home for the holidays.
It’s important to remember that family means different things to everyone. Maybe this year your family includes your fur baby + a few of your besties. Maybe it’s a table full of co-workers all gathered together to laugh + share stories. Maybe it’s just you and your single mom or dad or grandma or cousin. Whoever it is, that’s perfectly OK.
This year, focus on the people who fill your cup + bring joy to your life–whether you share the same genes or not.
It’s OK to celebrate your way.
Whether you start Christmas with church service + brunch or sleeping in + stockings–THAT’S OK! Celebrate your way. Make your own traditions. Do what brings you + your loved ones happiness. Spend the day celebrating all the good in your life + spread a little goodness to the community while you’re at it.
Your holiday doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Find peace in knowing you’re celebrating exactly how you want to, and that’s enough.
Eat what makes you happy.
Unless you’re living under a rock or are social media free, this time of year you’ll see plenty of advice about “not falling off over the holidays.” AKA: how to keep up with your diet + exercise routine while Aunt Sharron bakes 200 cookies.
EAT SHARRON’S COOKIES, please. There’s no such thing as “falling off” during the holidays, ok? It’s 1 or 2 days–your body can handle whatever you throw at it (in moderation…please don’t take this as permission to drink uncontrollably).
Your focus shouldn’t be on maintaining a diet or losing weight. You shouldn’t be fearful of post-holiday weight gain or how you’ll get back on track once everyone goes back to their normal lives. Hone in on your happiness. Eat the foods you skip the rest of the year. Stay home from the gym if it means a movie marathon with loved ones instead. But if you want to workout, workout! If you’d really rather eat a salad, eat a salad. Just make sure your decisions are rooted in joy, not fear.
You deserve you time.
Listen, the holidays can be exhausting. And when we’re exhausted, we’re not at our best. We’re grouchy and stressed and easily irritated. Instead of feeling selfish for taking “you time” when you start to feel overwhelmed, own your space and give yourself permission to re-charge.
This might look like:
- Taking a long walk (without your little cousins)
- Excusing yourself early from festivities to go home and snuggle up with your pup
- Stepping away from conversations that stress you out
- Not attending festivities you know won’t end well
- Sleeping in if you need the extra rest
You own your time–no one automatically “deserves” it, no matter the time of year. Take care of yourself and do what’s best for you–even if it means refusing to do what others want you to.
Patience goes a long way.
When you get a bunch of people together to celebrate, eat, drink, and spend time cooped up in small quarters, it’s easy to step on toes (or get stepped on). Now’s the perfect time to practice patience.
Instead of saying everything on your mind, choose to filter your responses. When Uncle Fred says something absolutely lunatic, don’t engage–just nod and excuse yourself. Try to be patient when things go wrong or you get an unexpected (unwanted) gift or one of your family members lets you down a little bit.
I’m not implying you let others walk all over you–if something needs to be said, say it. All I’m suggesting is if you amp up your patience + understanding, it’ll go a long way.
We’re Not All Celebrating The Same Thing (or anything at all)
There’s a lot going on this time of year: Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza…and I’m sure a thousand other holidays I’m unaware of. Recognizing and respecting different beliefs + celebrations is a simple way to ensure everyone feels involved + seen.
On the other hand, this time of year doesn’t always signify celebration. For some people who’ve experienced great loss or sadness during this time, the holidays are just another reminder of their pain. If you run into “a Grinch” while out and about, try not to immediately judge them and their non-joyous behavior. Instead, recognize that you have no clue what this time of year means for them, and choose to wish them happiness + peace instead.
Whatever your season looks like, I’m sending loads of love + light your way. May your cup overflow, your plate be full, your heart be warm, and your joy abound.