Healthy Holiday Expectations

Healthy Holiday Expectations kimfredrickson.comThanksgiving is just around the corner, so I wanted to share some helpful holiday expectations with you today.

Just so you know, it is normal to have a mixture of feelings as the Holidays approach. We all know the positives – Yummy food, meaningful religious celebrations, decorations, beauty of the lights, special moments with family and friends, and good food.

 

Sometimes we don’t also recognize how normal it is to have painful feelings and stress pop up too. Amidst the joy, there can be stress from preparations and activities, extra financial pressure, negotiating visits to relatives, and even times of grief.

These times of sadness can especially occur when we are reminded of a loss in our lives…loss of a loved one through death, separation, or divorce; loneliness; estrangement, or life not turning out as you planned. Allow yourself to have the emotions you are feeling. “I love the Holidays, and they can also be stressful or sad”.

Here are some tips for healthy holiday expectations:

Don’t…attach your hopes and dreams to someone else’s actions or plans

In a recent post, Sustaining Hope…When it’s Hard to Keep Hoping, I shared that I’m not big on attaching hope to:

~ Outcomes I can’t control

~ People I can’t influence or change

~ Situations in the world that are too big for me

~ Planning on things to change, be different, get better, or not be the way they are

This applies to this season of celebration as well. It is so normal to wish that holiday plans go a certain way, that people would remember and include you in meaningful ways, and that everything would go as planned.

Reality check…all that you’re hoping for probably won’t happen. Some will.

I’m not being a downer, just realistic. This is because most likely, others in your life have their own list of hopes, wishes and needs. They also have a lot of responsibilities and things they are dealing with that you don’t even know about. Just like you. Just like me.

That doesn’t mean don’t wish for things.

It does mean share with others what you’d like to do. Please don’t do the mind reading thing, hoping they will just know. That is a recipe for disaster. When planning for the holidays, make sure you also include some things that matter to you, that don’t depend on the actions of someone else.

  • Take an active position in making sure that this Holiday season includes time with people or activities that are meaningful to you such as meaningful religious services, time with family and friends, special holiday traditions and food, looking at lights, music, etc.
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, exercise, time to relax and have fun. Please be kind and compassionate with yourself during the holidays.
  • Don’t forget to include and honor God as you go through this season. Think of ways that are meaningful to you to honor Him and include Him throughout the season.
  • Focus on all you are thankful for. It’s easy to focus on what’s not happening, or what went wrong. Look around you and make a lost, starting today or all you grateful for. If you look, there are a ton!
  • If you are missing someone special during the holidays, make sure and do things that keep them with you in some way. Some ideas might be to keep a picture of them nearby, allow yourself to feel sad as well as happy as you remember them, or do activities that they loved to do during the holidays.
  • Say no when you need to, make your own memories, and do things as simply as possible.

Healthy Holiday Expectations kimfredrickson.com

 

I’m also planning to talk more about this topic at my Facebook Live this Friday at 1:00pm (pst).

You can watch here www.facebook/TheSelfCompassionClub  If you can’t attend live, check back anytime and the recording of the talk will be waiting for you. I hope you’ll join me!

I would love to get your input

What was your reaction when you saw the title of this post, Healthy Holiday Expectations? What was most helpful about what was shared? What are some tips you can share with us about healthy expectations for the holidays? How do you take care of yourself during this season?

Please leave your comments below and share on social media or via e-mail with others who might benefit!
 

 

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6 thoughts on “Healthy Holiday Expectations

  1. I am Thankful to continue to receive encouragement and reminders on how to live from you Kim. Happy Thanksgiving! Praying for you. Bev

    1. Hi Bev,
      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂 I’m so glad this was helpful to you. Always fun to hear from you. Thanks for your prayers!
      Happy Thanksgiving to you too 🙂

  2. Kim, this is so helpful for me, as I am a new stepmom in a blended family and the holidays can be hard. I am really working on controlling my reactions, taking care of myself, and trying to not let others determine whether or not I have a nice holiday or not. Thank you for these great reminders, and the fact that every family has some struggle, even the seemingly perfect ones.

    1. Hi Ava…I’m so glad this was helpful to you! I love how you put it, ” I am really working on controlling my reactions, taking care of myself, and trying to not let others determine whether or not I have a nice holiday or not.” Good for you..and yes, every family have struggles. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and may you have some unexpected momneets of joy.

  3. Thank you! Every word meant so much to me. Since your last blog entry, I have been carefully re evaluating where I put my hope. I am also admitting to myself that there are some things that I wish for that are very unlikely to happen. I appreciate Your suggestions. You reminded
    me of something else you once wrote. “The world I’m looking for isn’t here…it’s in heaven.” Sometimes, I forget that and my expectations aren’t very realistic. It makes sense to put my energy into creating new memories and considering what might be most meaningful to me. Thanks for your encouragement to be kind and patient with myself. I’m thankful for God’s mercy and goodness, especially during this beautiful holiday season.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Roberta, Thanks so much for your comments. I’m so glad this was so helpful to you. You are doing a marvelous job stepping back and looking at where to place your hope. It is hard to say goodbye to unrealistic expectations, but it opens up so many possibilities. Congrats for your courage, and care of yourself. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

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