Holiday Do’s:

  • Take breaks throughout the experience, even if it is just shutting your eyes and taking a breath, leaving the room for a minute or two, or sitting quietly.
  • Manage your expectations before, during, and after the holiday about the experience.
  • Create your own joy and let it spread rather than wishing others would be joyful.
  • Determine before the holiday which topics you want to engage in and which you don’t.  Come up with a plan of what to do when the topics come up that you are not going to engage in.
  • Know who your buddy/buddies are in the experience so you can reach out for support and help, if you need to.
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Achieve good rest before the holiday experience.
  • Moderate substances that serve you and abstain from substances that you know will not be supportive of your success.
  • Remember that our senses are always gathering information and we need to smell, taste, touch, hear, and see positive elements to make our environment healthy and pleasurable.
  • Remember that holidays can be something we didn’t think they were going to be, but that might also be an opportunity for goodness. 

Many times in my work with clients, they ask me about the holidays. The holidays, whatever and whenever your celebration occurs, can be difficult as they often bring up feelings that are deep and hibernating. It is important to plan for this and strategize, because if left to its own devices, our brains prefer familiarity rather than change and we can readily slip into old patterns. To prevent this automatic regression, we have to plan, strategize, rehearse, and come up with contingency plans to enact if we feel like we are sliding.

Remember, some of us work better trying to achieve something rather than trying not to do something.  Some of us work better trying to avoid engaging in patterned behavior rather than trying to do something new (use the link below, if the latter is you). Some of us need to have both plans for the best opportunity for success.

For those of us that need a plan for how to do something different, the most useful and important tool for changing behavior is being kind to ourselves while we are doing the work. It is far easier to change behavior and learn from experiences if we are being kind to ourselves throughout the process.

In the list below, I will include some of the tools and strategies that I am working on this year. Some of the strategies my clients have shared with me throughout the years, some I hope to work on next year, and some I wish my loved ones would work on.

Some of us work better trying to avoid engaging in patterned behavior rather than trying to do something new – read how below:

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