1. Take a break

You have the right to take a minute (or more) for yourself. If you need a moment to step away from the holiday stress, tell those around you that you “need a break.” Grab a hot chocolate if you need an excuse to leave the room. Take a nap if you’re tired.  You don’t have to be busy if you don’t want to be. Tune into what you need in that moment. You cannot pour from an empty cup! Remember to fill your cup in ways that work for you.

2. Say what you want to say

If someone asks how you are doing, you are allowed to say how you actually feel, not just “fine” or “okay.” However, you also have the right to answer a brief “okay” or “fine,” if you’re not comfortable letting this person know you’re not doing okay. You have the right to set boundaries with others, and you also have the right to adjust them as needed.  Boundaries can be flexible. 

3. Switch things up

You don’t have to follow the traditions from years past, and there is no set of instructions (this is 2020 afterall). You don’t have to send out a holiday card or have a fancy feast for dinner. If you feel like you need a change, do it! If you need to do an activity at a different time, that’s okay too! You are allowed to set the time for your life, even during the holidays. The beauty is, you can change it up again next year! Try to practice flexibility and give yourself (and family) some grace. 

4. Be where you want to be

If you don’t feel like traveling, you deserve to stay home. If you don’t feel like being home, find a place that feels right for you. If you arrive somewhere and it is not feeling aligned for what you are needing, it is okay to excuse yourself.  Wherever is comfortable for you is the perfect place to be.

5. Feel how you feel

If today isn’t the day for holiday songs and cookie baking, that’s okay. Take a day for yourself without putting on a brave face or pretending everything is okay. If today feels like you might want to do something fun, do it! Don’t be afraid for others to see you and how you are feeling. The holidays are full of powerful emotions. You don’t have to feel how anyone expects you to feel. 

6. Change Your Mind

If you have plans but feel overwhelmed, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to – even if you already have your coat and boots on and are one step out the door. You can take a rain check on your plans. You deserve to feel comfortable in your plans and have autonomy.

7. Give yourself credit

Have you ever looked back on your day and said “I didn’t do anything today”?  That is a negative over generalization and can lead to feeling more defeated. Instead, remember to give yourself credit for ALL of the things you do throughout your day – from waking up, eating, brushing your teeth, and the list goes on. Before you know it, you will be mindful of how much you actually do, even if it is not on your growing holiday to-do list.

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