Navigating the Holidays Part 1
The holidays are approaching, in fact one of them just passed. And for many people and for many reasons, the holidays are not an easy part of the year. Some of us dread this time of year. We'd like to stay in bed and pretend it doesn't exist. Does that sound familiar?
That's okay. But since most of us can't pretend the holidays don't exist, what about we figure out some ways to get through the holidays? I will take 7 posts to dive into different ways to navigate the holidays. Join in with me and even chime in.
Part 1: Acknowledge + Process
Do you find that you feel like you're going to fall apart during the holidays? Do you struggle with having to attend parties, see family photos, attend family gatherings, buy presents for kiddos? Believe me you're not alone. This has always been a struggle for me, too.
The biggest piece of advice that I can give you is a two-part step.
#1 – Acknowledge your feelings.
Say it out loud. Tell your husband or your best friend. Tell the Lord how you're feeling. There's no point in pretending you don't feel that way if you do. In fact, holding it in could make matters worse.
Imagine being at a family gathering and someone asks the dreaded question "When are you going to have kids?" and you didn't acknowledge prior to the family gathering how you were feeling. All of a sudden you're faced with this question. And now, you are about to explode. Maybe it would sound something like this:
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? WHAT BUSINESS IS THAT OF YOURS! MIND YOUR BUSINESS! I DON'T ASK WHEN YOU'RE GOING INTO A NURSING HOME!
Even though it sounds kinda humorous and it probably makes you laugh and in the moment you may feel better for getting it out there, it probably would be pretty embarrassing if you had that kind of outburst in front of your family members. And it probably be pretty hurtful to your grandmother or whichever family member you were to be talking to at that moment.
Acknowledging your feelings ahead of time helps you and your family.
#2 - Process through your feelings.
What does this look like for you? It might look something like crying before the Lord. Tell Him how much the holidays suck for you. Tell Him how hard it is to buy presents for other peoples kids, and not your own. Let Him be your true comforter. He alone can truly comfort you.
For someone else, it might be talking to their best friend or husband and crying in their arms. Because nothing feels better than being comforted by someone that truly loves you and understands.
#3 - Enter the holidays in a better place.
Now that you've acknowledged and processed, you can go into the holidays having dealt with your feelings knowing that you likely won't have an outburst.
You will be confident that you can handle this.