Planning for the Holidays
Author: Sue Horwitz, AFL Client Coach
The beginning of the holiday season is upon us. It’s a time of reflection, gratitude, love, and abundance unless you are feeling confused, angry, and sad about losing a loved one.
Planning tips for surviving the holidays:
- Plan well in advance and share the plans with those who need to know. Remember to plan children’s pick-ups and drop-offs too. The more everyone knows about the holiday arrangements, the less anxious they will be (especially children).
- Tell others what you need. If you need a day off and can ask family and friends for breathing room, do that. The sooner you let others know how you are feeling, the more likely they will be able to commit to supporting you.
- Make sure to schedule downtime. The holidays are filled with stress. So, it is best to pace yourself. Pick and choose holiday parties based on what is manageable.
- Focus on yourself. With or without kids, do something each day that is for you. Whether it is getting up before everyone to have a cup of coffee or staying up late by yourself to binge on Netflix, find one thing for you.
- Set conversation boundaries. So often, friends and family want to talk about your situation, but you can say you prefer not to have these conversations during the holiday and thank them for their concern.
- Watch excess eating and drinking. Extra sugar is not good for either waistline or mood. Do things that have long-term positive effects.
- Exercise and be outside to boost your mood. Plan these activities so that they happen.
- Create new traditions. Now is the time to switch things around that did not work in the first place. For example, let us say you never liked Christmas Eve Ham Dinner. Try something different. (It is a good idea to get the kid’s buy-in and not make it about what you did not)
- Honor traditions. If there are beloved traditions, keep them intact.
- Discuss gift-giving with your co-parent and extended families. Doing this ensures the kids get more of what they want and need and shows them everyone in the family is there for them.
And always, during difficult times, reach out to therapists and coaches for additional support. My email address is email@example.com, do not hesitate to reach out.