At their best, holiday gatherings are joyful spaces of community and relationship building.
At their worst, the noise, stimulation and stirred up energy of lots of people can often embolden our wounds (and our bullshit) to show up.
Considering that, here are my 5 Tips For Finding Your Way Through Holiday Events That Have Historically Stressed You The Hell Out:
- The bathroom (or guest room or any empty space, really) is your friend. Steal away for some deep breaths. Mantras. Look at your reflection in the mirror and tell yourself the good, loving things that you need to hear in that moment.
(I’ve done wall pushups and squats in the bathroom as a way of burning through fiery emotions that I didn’t want to spew on the dining table.)
Especially for us introverted peeps, find any small slice of alone time you can. It helps.
- If anxious eating is something you’re working on…
Beforehand, visualize yourself standing in front of the mountain called the buffet table, and see your spine straighten and your head lift up high. Feel yourself standing in front of all that food like a queen making discerning choices. You’re immune to anyone’s pressure or expectations. You’re in charge of this eating experience. Powerful, not powerless.
- If people pleasing is something you’re working on…
“No thank you” is a complete sentence. If someone tries to shove a glass of this or a bowl of that in front of you, you’re NOT an asshole for simply saying “No thank you”. Consider this an opportunity to practice working your no muscle.
- Bookend these events. Plan something for before and after that feels calming and nourishing. Quiet cuddles with the doggies. A walk in nature. Listening to an audio of ocean waves.
I’ve often meditated in the car before particularly energy-intense gatherings. Helped a ton.
- If this is the year you tell Aunty So-and-So that you’d like her to enjoy her brussel sprouts and stop commenting on the size of your plate, I’m standing at your back with pom-poms and a brand new fog horn. *bap*bap*
ALSO. Fuck the self help tutorials that say ‘Authenticity means that you always tell people exactly how you’re feeling!’ or ‘Stepping away from a confrontation proves you’re emotionally damaged’.
Choosing to be silent, changing the subject, or leaving the room are not less noble options. There are times for stepping in and times for stepping out.
Imagine me, putting a spoon of cranberry sauce in my mouth, staring at you with eyes that say, “You have every right to choose what’s best for you. EVERY right.”
I hope something on this list helps you connect with your people without losing yourself in the process. That is my only (and always) wish for us all. ❤
Also… I won’t be posting for the next week but check my IG Stories! xo