Ways to be more gentle with yourself this holiday season 🎄 (Especially if they feel hard.)
The holidays can bring up different feelings for everyone, every year. Excitement and uneasiness, gratitude and sorrow, certainty and bewilderment … Perhaps, as the holidays approach, you’ve felt a variety of those feelings and many others. Maybe in certain moments, maybe all at once. I know that I’ve already felt my fair share of them.
No matter how you’re feeling this season, I want to encourage you to be gentle with yourself, especially if the holidays feel hard. Whatever you’ve been through, whatever you’ve faced, and whatever you’re currently carrying deserves all of the extra grace that you can give.
I want to share with you a few practices that I plan to follow to help me remain gentle with myself this holiday season.
Have compassion for yourself. When you’ve been carrying a lot throughout the year, it makes sense that the holidays are hard. Have a deeper understanding of the situation and yourself, and then extend grace towards that. Know that it’s okay if the holiday season isn’t perfect … It’s not necessarily supposed to be. When we can hold the awareness that things may be hard or imperfect, we create more space for compassion toward ourselves, our feelings, and those around us.
Remain curious about your feelings. Ask yourself why you might be feeling a certain way, or why you’re not feeling a certain way. What comes up for you? One of my personal favorite questions to ask in moments of reflection is: If this feeling or sensation could speak, what might it say? When we get curious about our feelings and take the time to explore them, we actually step into an opportunity to discover even more about ourselves. We get to know a part of us that we might never have known before, or might have forgotten about.
Find small, cheerful moments in the midst of the season, even when it’s not perfect. When we let go of our expectations and hold more compassion for ourselves, we discover an ease to enjoying what’s in front of us. We no longer measure it against an expected version of “success,” and instead we can enjoy it more fully and deeply as what it is.
I don’t know all of the things that you’ve been through this year, or what you might currently be facing, but I do know that we could all use a little more compassion, curiosity, and cheer this holiday season.
I’ll be remembering these tips on how to be more gentle with myself in the coming weeks as I head first to the snow with some of my loved ones, and then to the desert to be near others. I hope that you’ll do the same – wherever you’re spending your holidays.
And if you need support, encouragement, or anything else this season, feel free to reach out to me personally. I appreciate and respond to every single message, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
We're in this together,