I have five little secrets for you.
Often, this time of year can be incredibly difficult as families cram together for the holiday season. Family, well-meaning or not, even friends can sometimes say things that hurt feelings or knock our self-esteem around. It seems that family and friends easily find our weakest buttons and poke at them. It doesn’t help that we often put extra pressure on ourselves as well during the holidays and dark thoughts of not being enough or not accomplishing enough enter our stressed out heads. So, between family, friends, and ourselves, we can get worn down. So how do you keep your head on straight with all that’s going on around you?
Let me tell you five secrets for keeping it together.
The first secret I’m going to tell you is that it okay to say you’re not okay. It’s okay to say I am tired, I’m stressed, or I’m overworked. It’s okay to feel this way and not fake cheerfulness. Studies have shown that people who know that they are not feeling all right and allow themselves to acknowledge their feelings truly move through them much faster. So, if you say I am tired, if you say, I need a break and allow those feelings out, you allow yourself the chance to level out emotionally much quicker than if you try to “push through” them. This does not mean you tell off your aunt or your grumpy old grandpa but rather you own your feelings with grace and dignity for yourself.
The second secret I’m going to tell you is that you are worthy of your attention. Attention to your mental and physical well-being is imperative to both the physical and mental health. Allowing time to take care of yourself is not selfish. In fact, it is necessary to attend to our body’s physical and mental signals instead of rushing around all the time.
This third secret is that you are allowed to say no. You are allowed to say no to any events people and places that are filled with negativity. This may take a lot of practice. This may even be hard to do in the beginning. I know that is hard for me to say no, so sometimes I say yes and I don’t want to. It’s time to practice saying no. Does this mean being rude or snarky? It does not. It means you respectfully decline to those making the invitation.
The fourth secret I’m going to tell you is that you can express your creativity in a way that delights you. How does this help when things are hectic? Creativity is a fantastic way to release stress. Now if that means cooking something just for you, or coloring in an adult coloring book, or simply drawing mandalas than that is okay. I’m not talking about the stuff you are rushing around, making and creating for the holidays; that may the stuff that can cause stress. I’m talking about stuff where your shoulders can relax and you can feel your breath.
My final secret to you is this, with all the crazy and frazzle that holidays can bring, remember to be true to yourself. Remember you are unique individual with an amazing specialness that you bring to the world. Your creative heart and soul belong here and are worthy of attention. Some days it can be hard to believe, but it’s true, you are wonderful for you are.