Holidays and finding joy

What are your expectations for the holidays?  Have you built in self-care and quiet?  The holidays are often a time of great stress, particularly as family systems change or are challenged.  Even under the best of circumstances, we can find ourselves overwhelmed with unmanageable expectations around what we have always thought the holidays SHOULD be for our family!

Ask where might conflict or stress creep in to your holiday plan?  Can you come up with a plan to manage it?  What does being present look like for your family?  Can you visualize a scenario or script some simple responses to the situation(s) you may already dread during holiday gatherings with family or friends? Can you streamline the holiday process? Is there a new simplified tradition to start if your family dynamic or schedule has changed?  Can you look for opportunities to practice gratitude and reframe the conflict or adversity, for example volunteering or having your kids donate clothing or toys?

By simplifying and managing our own expectations around family changes we can be more present and less stressed during the holidays.  This idea is especially poignant for families going through divorce or change.   The greatest gift we give ourselves and our family during the holidays is being present and finding joy.    Start a new tradition that brings you joy this holiday season!