Holidays are meant to be a time for remembering, reflecting, celebrating, giving thanks, and of coming together, Journeyer.
Like many of you, I enjoy everything about hosting family and friends in my home. The smell of a meal wafting from the oven, the themed tableware, the drone of catching up chatter and the magic of laughter fill my home and my soul to the brim.
And like many of you, holiday entertaining in my home is as traditional as apple pie and baseball are to America.
I typically spend two glorious days preparing for the holiday gatherings, one day designated for baking, food prep, and table setting selections, and the second day for cooking and assembling the side dishes.
Some of you spend fewer hours in the kitchen and some of you spend considerably more, but no matter how much time you are on your feet prepping and cooking, you are a valuable part of your family gatherings.
No matter how much pleasure you derive from these activities, they do place additional demands on your time and your energy. Add in additional stress due to conflict and grief following some life loss event and you can feel downright overwhelmed and exhausted.
These established routines can become so ingrained that we experience stress and anxiety at the thought of changing these familial customs.
In the face of conflict and grief, a few simple strategies will help you navigate the holiday season with a little more confidence, grace, and ease.
Being flexible is key to allowing healing and peace into our lives, Journeyer.
If you’re stressing or anxious about hosting the upcoming holiday season, there is a simple solution: ask another family member to host the family gathering this year.
Accept (and convey to others, if you feel the need) that your situation is only temporary and you can return to your beloved routines for future family events.
This strategy also falls under the Asking for Help category. When you ask for assistance, you not only nurture your own needs, you show others you value and trust them, and you give them the gift of receiving.
This flexibility brings peace, calm and healing to all of your five facets, Journeyer.
Your academic facet will be tended to because you’ll be able to let go of the mental worry about how you’re going to navigate the shopping, cleaning, and cooking you usually do before and after these family affairs.
Your emotional facet will be addressed because you’ve not only addressed your discomfort, you’ll feel supported and understood by your family’s adjustments.
Bringing peace and calm to your academic and emotional facets reduces the stress and tension on your physical body.
Your social facet will be nurtured because you’re spending time with loved ones.
And your spiritual facet will know peace because you have connected with what you feel you want and need and then found a way to make it happen.
Being flexible is a sign of your awareness of what you need and want, a testimony to your strength and courage, and is a sign of personal and soul growth.
Being flexible is also a sign of forward thinking and a model for everyone, one that represents hope and promise.