We all have ‘shoulds’ for this time of year. According to our family and culture we should do and feel prescribed ways. For some of us, this prescription is for positive, caring, and productive activities and interactions. And if this is what you are experiencing then stop reading this and go get more of this good stuff. However, if this prescription has severe side effective causing some not so good stuff, consider changing your prescription or doing something about the bad feelings.
There is an opening zoom call exercise that asks each person to draw a picture (stick picture are okay!) and then to share a memory of the holidays. I am surprised by how difficult it can be for many to come up with good memories. Finding the negative may be easier but not what we want to share with others. These family and cultural memories of our childhood create our expectations and prescriptions for the holiday.
If meeting all the expectations for the holidays results in you being exhausted, sleep deprived, emotionally overwhelmed, or …. Then consider writing a new expectation. “Treat yourself with the same love and kindness as you treat a loved one, friend, or even a stranger.”
If you cannot give up the family and cultural expectations, at least practice a bit of harm reduction with some tapping, positive connection, and perhaps a bit of self care.
When you think of slowing down or setting priorities, notice what you sense in your body. If you cannot sense you body or if the feelings are achy or itchy, then start with some tapping. Do the crisis tapping to start. When the overwhelming feelings are managed, you can make some new expectations for yourself and your family.
You may need to tap more. There is tapping to help with depression, grief, season affective disorder and of course the trauma of past holiday disappointments and hurts.
My wish for all of us: may we all active an intentions grounded in love, care, and most importantly for me at this time of year is gratefulness.
I am grateful in sharing this message with you.