The holiday times can bring on a wealth of feelings, activities and task. I would like you for you to take a moment to reflect on your own family holiday tradition and all the ways your family celebrate together. You may find some for the traditions time consuming or even a little silly. Most of these holiday traditions occur year after year in the same way. Prepping the turkey, dressing and all the fixing that are included in a holiday meal, watching movies together, playing of board games, wrapping gifts or making holiday treats, opening gifts or driving to Aunt B’s house 2.5 hours away. Honestly, you may want to replicate the one that are tied to positive emotions and let go of those connected to negative emotions or you make to toss out the old traditions and create a new ones all together. Even if you do not do things the exact same way that you have done in the years before, your celebration can still be wonderful. Here are some ways to take off the pressure and create new family traditions with balance in mind this year:
Give yourself permission to let go of old traditions. It is okay to tell yourself that although you remain loyal to your family, you do not have to remain loyal to your family traditions during the holidays that you actually do not prefer. It okay to not carry out every single tradition.
Ask yourself what you really want to do. Embrace the ability to make choices in life. You actually have control of what traditions you keep and do away with this year. One time a few years ago, I remember that I decided that I did not want to traditional Christmas dinner, we made gourmet burger instead. It turned out to be an awesome dinner and bonding over everyone making their signature burgers. It was refreshing and a welcome change.
Take a Poll. Ask your family what parts of holiday celebration do they really like. Perhaps that they may have their own ideas of what they would like to do. Stick with the tops ones versus all of them.
Borrow other people’s ideas. Listen to your colleagues at work and neighbors to gather new ideas. You can access a wealth of information about traditions and celebrations just by listening to how others celebrate.
Reach out to your friends, acquaintances and coworkers. If you have a friend who loves shopping, hire them as a personal shopper. It may help with staying on budget this holiday season. If you have a neighbor who make delicious apple pie or cakes, ask for them to make a extra dessert for you and you pay them for it.
The point is that you are in control of what traditions you want to keep this holiday season. Allow these suggestions to aid you in shifting your thinking to create a holiday that support your mental wellness this year.
Be Well and Balance,
Shayla Peterson, LCSW, LISW-CP