Let me be clear: I loathe the holiday season. I am not one of those jolly ol' chaps who has a Halmark movie of a season, ya know? It also just seems like a forced performance. Why do we need THIS day, or THIS season to be grateful and be good people?? Let's try it 24/7 maybe?
You have your own thoughts about the holidays for whatever reason, and i respect however you feel. That's what I stand for: doing, feeling and being in whatever way feels right and authentic to you.
We can't deny the holiday season, with its twinkling lights and joyful festivities, is often seen as a time of merriment and togetherness, even when you may not feel like celebrating. For many millennials, and for folks like me who grieve around the holidays, it can be a period fraught with stress, fear, and grief. The weight of expectations, family dynamics, and the longing for those no longer with us can cast a shadow over this time of year.
So, just know: I GET IT and I want to give you three powerful ways YOU can navigate these complex emotions and find moments of peace and joy amid the holiday season.
1. Cultivate Mindful Self-Care: As millennials navigate the holiday season, it's crucial to prioritize self-care. Amid the hustle and bustle, carving out moments for yourself is a profound act of self-compassion. Engage in practices that center your mind and spirit, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Mindful self-care can help you stay grounded in the present, enabling you to manage stress and find solace during turbulent times.
It really is powerful to preemptively prepared for what you need and also check in on the day of, while still evaluating throughout the day. You feelings and moods matter and you have permission to change.
Consider setting boundaries to protect your mental and emotional well-being. It's okay to decline invitations or gracefully step away from overwhelming situations. Remember, self-care isn't selfish; it's a form of self-preservation. By taking care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to navigate the stress and grief that may surface during the holidays.
2. Embrace Vulnerability and Seek Connection:
The holiday season can stir up feelings of grief, especially if you've lost loved ones or are separated from family and friends. This is a time to embrace vulnerability and acknowledge your feelings. Allow yourself to grieve, reminisce, and honor the memories of those who are no longer with you. Reach out to friends, or consider joining support groups or therapy to find solace in shared experiences and build connections that provide comfort.
In addition, remember that vulnerability can lead to moments of profound connection. Open your heart to sharing your thoughts and emotions with others, and you'll find that many people can relate to your experiences. Engage in heartfelt conversations that foster connection, as these connections can be a source of strength and support during the holiday season.
3. Reimagine Holiday Traditions: The holiday season often carries a weight of tradition, which can evoke both positive and challenging emotions. Consider reimagining and adapting these traditions to align with your current circumstances and emotional needs. You have the power to create new rituals or modify existing ones to better suit your journey.
Incorporate activities that bring you joy and solace, whether it's lighting a candle in memory of a loved one, volunteering to help those in need, or celebrating in a way that aligns with your values. Reimaging holiday traditions is an opportunity to embrace the uniqueness of your own journey and find meaning and purpose in the holiday season, even amidst grief and stress.
Honestly, this is one of my favorites! Since my dad passed and we had such a long-standing tradition of big Italian Christmas with the Seven Fishes, I like to do things that fill my soul and also create a new tradition: like traveling to a fun and exciting place, SOLO every year.
The holiday season may stir up stress, fear, and grief, but it can also be a time of profound self-discovery and resilience. By prioritizing mindful self-care, embracing vulnerability and seeking connection, and reimagining holiday traditions, millennials can navigate this season with grace and strength. Remember, you're not alone in your experiences, and your journey is valuable. By nurturing your spirit, you can find moments of peace and joy amid the complexity of the holiday season.
You got this. Have an EPIC December.