1. IT’S OK IF YOU’RE NOT OK. Normalizing natural and appropriate emotional responses to hard situations is a must! “It’s the holidays, I have to been in a good mood” or “Everyone is stressed out, if I am too, we may all fall apart” or “If I don’t keep it together for my kids, their holidays will be ruined!” All of these well-worn judgments and misguided and false expectations of you are not only untrue but also against to your actual goal – to have a good holiday. If you can allow your emotions to be purely what they are – sad, anxious, depressed, pissed, stressed…. without the “story” attached that connects the misguided message of SHAME – that somehow, it’s up to you to hold the emotional bandwidth for everyone around you – OR ELSE.
Emotional wellness hack: If you allow your emotions to be what they are and just what they are, without attaching a story about what will happen because you are feeling them, then they can move along almost as quickly as they washed over you.
If you feel anxious, it can simply be that you are afraid of what the holidays will look like in the midst of a global pandemic. If you are sad, it can simply be that you are going to miss your sister, brother and their families who usually visit for an entire week in December. If you feel angry, it can simply mean that you are angry that this pandemic is dragging on as long as it has. PERIOD. For folks who deal with anxiety, it can be tempting to partake in some future “story” about their fear. This could be something like, “and I won’t be able to….” or “and what if……” or “I’m afraid that….” And on as if our emotions can tell the future. NOPE. They can’t. Stay in the moment you are in, feel your emotions, and do your best to release the story.