Read This If the Thought of the Holidays Feels Hard or Overwhelming or Just Like, SKIPPING!

holidays, family, and baggage, oh my!

On approaching the holiday season in the spirit of honoring how you feel and giving yourself permission to make space for you–even if that seems challenging, especially if you have people in your life who don’t get it.

Hello, sweet friend!

I am sending love and a hug your way today.

Here in the states, it is almost Thanksgiving, which means it’s also almost Christmas Party Season along with Hanukkah and Festivus and Christmas Actual and Kwanzaa and Boxing Day and (ok I am stretching it a bit) New Year.

And eeeek, do you know what else that means?

The feelings are coming.

You know how Game of Thrones has that motto, Winter is coming? Yes, mine is, The feelings are coming! Only when I say it, I use the Eddie Murphy voice from his bit, the Ice Cream man is coming! 

Yep, the feelings are coming.

A gentle reminder: You are absolutely NORMAL if you have feelings about the holidays.

I know there will be people who look at you with the stinky cheese face when you actually admit you have feelings about getting together around the holidays. I know.

if the holidays feel hard

Over here around these parts, we get it and there is nothing wrong with you if you have them, m’kay? Nothing wrong with you and your feelings. Nope.

If you feel like, ugh or ick or blech about getting together with certain individuals this year, or about having to entertain, or bake, cook, or clean. Or house certain individuals for a sleepover… you are not alone!

And yes, it’s okay if you feel lonely, or sad about the people you won’t be seeing this year. Or if you wish so hard that the people you were seeing felt somehow more connected to your heart. Or if there’s been conflict and still no resolution. Or if you feel pressured into doing what you don’t wanna do.

It is okay. You are most definitely not a loser, and your life didn’t take a horribly wrong turn because you feel this way.

Also, I should probably mention that most families do not resemble the happy ones we see on TV or in the movies. In fact, I think Television might be catching on 😉 real families have baggage and there are long-held unresolved issues. There are longings unrealized, wishes unspoken. Even the families that seem to have it all together often have people on the inside who do not agree.

If you are feeling any kind of upset or anxiety or sadness or angst or anger or a general sense of I am SO not looking forward to this, I want you to know it is okay to feel how you feel.

You are okay and this is okay.

I know not everyone will get this, but we care about YOU right now, sweet friend. You are the one who matters here. And from where I stand I can say, you are not alone in this. There are many of us who feel this way.If you're depressed around the holidays

Right now the only thing that matters is how you’re doing.

The next thing is, we should find out what you are needing here.

Please don’t beat yourself up and don’t assume you are wrong.

Please do not give in to your obligation energies before you check out what’s going on inside your heart and belly.

Please take some time to sit with how you’re feeling.

Hello, this is YOUR holiday too. And it’s totally right and more than okay to include yourself in the plans.

Make it your goal to honor your needs as you move through the days (even if it’s scary).

I often think about my great TJ MAXX jingle right about now: You get the max for the minimum. How can you allow yourself the maximum of what you are needing while you do the minimum for everyone else?

Here are some ideas for you on how you might do that:

  1. Be kind and gentle with yourself and how you’re feeling.
  2. Do not listen to your fear only, listen to your heart. Maybe there are shifts and adjustments needing to be made and your heart is saying so. If you only listen to the fear, you will be more apt to give yourself away (again) this year.
  3. Take a few breaths with me right now. I realize that feelings are never easy but they do point to important things. The more you know about what you need, the more things can change. And what was once an impossible situation can transform miraculously. I have seen these miracles up close!
  4. Help yourself along by asking what you may be needing now. Listen, really listen. Let’s get nuts! How about you write a list of things you are DEFINITELY NOT looking forward to right now.
  5. One of my own most helpful realizations is that I need to include myself in the planning. I need to honor how I feel and what I want. I need to make sure I am not that one lady just baking and buying all the things for everyone else and leaving nothing in the tank for her. What do you need to do for YOU?
  6. Make sure you spend a little time alone every day. A little time in nature, a little time to putter, a little time to think. Maybe (if it’s not too cold out where you are!) you can go outside and do a little walk, and then come back in with a nice cuppa something warm and write about what’s good NOW as you welcome what’s to come 🙂 I love to do this!
  7. No. You can say no. You get to say no. You can say it in a way that closes the discussion like this, I won’t be attending the 500 hour turkey extravaganza, I will look forward to seeing the pictures though! Or, I won’t be able to make it for the whole thing, I can stop by for pie though!

In closing, I want to remind you of some important things.

  1. You matter.
  2. Nope, you are not bad for feeling the way you do.
  3. You have full permission to honor your needs. No matter what.

I am wishing you all the very best. I’m seeing you enjoying this holiday YOUR WAY, and I am so excited for you!

Sending a hug.


P.S. and no matter what happens this holiday season, I vote we all eat more pie!

Related love from the archives:

Don’t Let the Turkeys Get You Down

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Permission granted 🙂

Read my recent interview in Mystic Magazine here: