1. Be Purposeful and Intentional About Celebrating the Holidays
- What spiritual principles and values you wish to honor (i.e. generosity, charity, family togetherness, personal reflection, etc.)
- What religious meaning the holidays have and the related traditions and activities you wish to observe
- How you wish to feel during and after the holidays
Examples may include:
- Hosting a tree trimming party and each guest, who assists, gets a special ornament as a gift or everyone goes out together for a meal.
- Having a holiday bake-off, during which the participants get to showcase their specialties. Share the creations with each other, so that everyone has a variety of treats to take home.
- Requesting others to help you prepare for guests (i.e. home organizing, decorating, other tasks, etc.) and offering to return a favor at a later time.
- Taking time out for a break; getting some down time during the season; making time for personal reflection
- Being mindful and exercising moderation about holiday eating and alcohol consumption. Refrain from being excessive and remain in control
- Being realistic with planning and allotting time and energy for holiday tasks (along with regular routine) during what is a fairly short period of time
Therefore, it is important to:
- Give yourself the time and space to grieve your losses. Grief is a healthy and necessary process
- Reach out to your social support system for comfort, if you are lonely, sad and hurt
- Validate your feelings, which are reasonable in light of the negative life event. Look forward to feeling better eventually.
To accomplish this:
- Let others know what you are and are not willing and/or able to to. This frees both of you up to move on
- Trust and listen to your "gut" regarding whether a request is beyond your comfort, energy and resource level
- Instead of saying only "no" or "yes", consider responding to a request with "not at this time", if you can reasonably fulfill the request at another time (perhaps after the holidays)