Over the years, I started to feel a disconnect from my work as a yoga teacher and healthy habits coach and my inability to truly design and experience the holidays in a way that really nourished me. As someone deeply committed to personal and planetary evolution, I have decided it's time to have a more conscious engagement with the holidays and cultivate a better way of doing the holidays for myself and my family.
A more conscious engagement with the holidays is one of the ways that I am stepping more deeply into the identity of being my own best caregiver, which is really an underlying theme in the work I am doing at this point in my life. At a certain point, you have to take responsibility for your wellbeing. No one else can do that for you.
If you are like me, it may be that self-care during the holidays is not something that was strongly modeled for you. In my case, care-giving was strongly modeled my my mother, aunts, and grandmothers, but self-care was not strongly modeled by them, especially not during the holiday season. I can see now as an adult and mother of teens that the holidays were stressful for my mom and grandmothers and I can see very clearly how easily I fall into doing the holidays in ways that they did the holidays. While my generation is different and some of the stressors are different, the pattern is still very similar and I am conscious of the fact that I fall out of balance during the holiday time in very similar ways to what how they become imbalanced which boils down a lot to saying yes to too many things and not holding good boundaries for self care.
Let's explore how we can do the winter holiday differently this year.
Follow the exercise below to clarify your values and desires. Do this to get clear on how YOU want to do the holidays this year.
THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY:
I'm going to dive into the good, the bad, and the ugly around the holidays, so you can examine what is TRUE for you about the holidays. This is the first step in getting clear about YOUR VALUES around the holidays.
So, let’s take a moment now and presence why we might get anxious, depressed, overwhelmed and grumpy at the holidays.
How do get things challenging or begin to unravel during the holiday season?
WHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU ABOUT PAST HOLIDAYS?
Grab a pen and paper.
Think back to last year’s holiday or to other past holidays.
THE GOOD for you:
THE GOOD for me:
THE BAD FOR YOU:
THE BAD for me:
When I take the time to reflect on this, I get more clarity on what I want to experience so that I can take responsibility for what I need to do to feel my best during the holiday season.
Here is the next part of this exercise: Clarify your DESIRE.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? CLOSE YOUR EYES, TAKE A MOMENT AND THINK ABOUT THIS. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DESIRE? TAP INTO YOUR BODY. TAP INTO YOUR CELLULAR DESIRE.
ARTICULATE YOUR HOLIDAY VISION + VALUES:
The word you just came up with is a VALUE that you have for yourself personally for this season. It is also a MINDSET.
Now you are going to further articulate your values and vision for the holidays.
When you know your values, you can articulate who you are and what you stand for and create a vision for yourself. Values are like a compass that points you toward your “true north.” They are unspoken rules and regulations, terms and conditions by which you have agreed and ultimately live by. If you have never done a values exercise, this is a great time to start. You can find a value exercise here.
These are some of my core values:
If I take my general values and make it relevant to the holidays, it turns into an action plan that looks like this:
TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!
Take some time to reflect on some of your core values.
How can these be put into practice during the holidays?
I'd love to hear your ideas! Leave a comment and I'll respond.
Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs on Self Care for the Holidays and Healthy Eating for the Holidays! Get tip sheets and listen to the audio of this exercise here.
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.