Managing Feelings During the Holidays

Mindfulness

My dear friends,

I want to briefly check in with you all this week, as we are in the full throes of the holiday season! In normal times, the holidays can bring up a wide range of emotions that can often be difficult to manage at a time where it appears that everyone is so joyful. This year, I know these feelings are creeping in, even more so.

I want to give you four, hopefully helpful, reminders as we continue through the holidays, and as we start to close out this year. I offer you these reminders with the intention that you know that if you are struggling during these times, you are not alone, and that you have this community here to offer support, always.

1. Everyone has struggles. So often at the holidays our tendencies to compare ourselves to others kicks into over drive. We think that in this season, we have to have all of the external things that everyone else has, in order to feel happy, fulfilled, and content. I want you to remember that we never really know anyone else’s full life story and circumstance. Just because an external picture looks shiny and perfect, does not mean that there aren’t struggles behind the scenes. In fact, we all struggle, in one way or another. Gently remind yourself of this over these next few weeks, release the need to compare, and start to honor who you are, and what you have in this moment.

2. No feeling is ever final. Deep, dark emotional holes can feel endless, I know that feeling all too well. One of the things that helps me through difficult stretches of times, is remembering that feelings, the bad and the good, don’t ever last for too long. Remember, you’ve made it through everything that has happened in your life up until this very moment. These instances have made you stronger, wiser, and more connected to yourself. Know that whatever storm is in your life in this moment will pass, and sunnier days are always ahead.

3. You can find shifts, through healthy emotional expression. It’s incredibly important to recognize, process, and honor your feelings. At the holidays, we tend to stuff down what’s really up for us, under the false pretenses that we should just be happy. Just know that when you push down feelings and emotions, they will come back at some point. When I start to feel down about something, I like to have a conversation with myself about it. I ask myself questions. What’s really bothering me here? Is there anything I can do to change the energy of the situation? Can I take an action? What do I need to let go of? These questions give me clues as to how I can proceed. Often times, moving my body in a physical way, whether a walk outside or a little dance session at home, helps me to release any stagnation in my body and clear my mind of unnecessary story writing and anxiety.

4. You’re allowed to define what these moments mean for you. Given the extreme difficulty of this year, many of us feel enormous pressure to make the holidays extra special and magical. I invite you, here, to decide for yourself what the holidays mean to you this year, and know that you have full permission to do things completely differently. As we close this year out, it’s so important to really honor your emotional needs, because this year has been traumatic, to say the least. Let yourself off the hook from any obligations or pressures, and choose small joys to fill your days.

Lastly, above all else, remember that you are loved and you are worthy, always.

Sending all my love,

Michelle

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