Taking care of yourself during the holidays

Written by Amie on November 30, 2013 – 1:42 am -

 It’s okay to do what you need to do to stay in a healthy place

I’m thinking there might be thousands of articles on this topic, and I thought I would write about my experience in case it might help someone else. I must admit, I truly dislike the energy in the air around this time of year, but I’ve learned how to stay in the energy that nurtures me. I try really hard to stay away from places and situations that feel heavy and negative. I’ve learned to listen to my inner voice that will tell me what I need so that I am able to stay in a healthy energy “place” in myself. In years past, my depression would get very very bad around this time. It took me quite awhile to figure out why this would happen. I felt such pressure during this time, and because I hadn’t yet worked on my inner voices, I made the assumption that something must be wrong with me if I didn’t enjoy this time of year.

gratitude on a daily basis

There are many theories out there, but I know now what the issue was for me. I am still not a huge fan of this time of year, but I no longer get depressed. The difference is that I take care of myself now. By this, I mean I pay attention to what I need. I do not do things I don’t feel like doing, AND I don’t feel bad about turning down activities I don’t want to do. I don’t blame myself for disliking this time of year, and I also know there is nothing wrong with me because I dislike this time of year. The more work I have done on questioning my beliefs and thoughts, I see how ridiculous this time of year really is. We are supposed to suddenly be grateful on this one day? (I believe gratitude is something to experience everyday). Since I began working on my inner life, I now feel gratitude on a daily basis, it is part of who I am. Are we suddenly supposed to want to run around like a crazy person buying gifts and doing things we really dislike? And should we then pretend to be happy when inside we are feeling anxious and unhappy?

sunk into deep depression

In years past, I would agree to participate in activities that I truly didn’t want to do. I “thought” I wanted to do them, but looking back now I see very large flashing red signs that point to the fact that I did not want to! I was coming from the conditioned place I knew so well. It was the heavy guilt that talked me into believing I “should” or “had to” participate. I would be late for gatherings, I would be very grumpy and depressed up to a week prior to the gathering, and I would beat myself up because I “should” want to do these things. These are the things people “do” during this time of year. It “should be” so nice. Ha! So I forced myself to do these things, beat myself up because I wasn’t happy about them, and then sunk into deep depression for a week after. I’m thinking maybe this sounds familiar to many people? There was so much guilt and shame and feelings of unworthiness involved during this time.  These feelings felt so familiar to me, which made it difficult for me to sort out why I wasn’t enjoying these “joyous” times of year! Until I started taking care of myself.

it is OKAY to do what works for me, no matter what the “norm” says 

When I began taking care of myself on a day to day basis, this spilled over into the holiday season. I slowly realized that my needs truly matter! I discovered that it is OKAY to do what works for me, no matter what the “norm” says I should do! What a freeing feeling. There is nothing bad or wrong with me when I  listen to my inner voice that is screaming, “stop! don’t go to this event, don’t do it, take care of your needs.” It was not easy at first, but it has since gotten easier. I ask myself, “what do you need? What would you like to do?” And I am sincere in asking myself this question! I listen to what I need, and then I take action to meet my needs. It can make it a bit trickier when kids are involved, because I will at times choose to do things I may not really want to do because I want to do them for my kids. So, because I am consciously choosing to participate for the benefit of my kids, I am able to better tolerate the situation. I am teaching them to listen to their inner voices when they do not want to do something. I am teaching them how to take care of themselves emotionally.

Honor your needs

I have learned that I absolutely do not have to participate in activities that suck energy from me. I do not have to be around people who do not respect me. I do not have to do things that my body is screaming “I don’t want to!” I do not have to sacrifice my well being so that others can have what they want. I have learned that the more I stay present and listen to my inner voice, the more peaceful my life is. As children, one is at the mercy of those around them. One may learn to shut off their inner needs. They become accustomed to the fact that their needs don’t really matter, so they stop tuning into them. But, as adults, we can take our power back! And, for those with children, we can teach our children to listen to their inner voices. We can validate their feelings and help them get their needs met in a healthy way. As adults, we are now in power of our lives. It is up to each of us to listen to that inner voice, and take action!

YOU HAVE THE POWER! 

What do you NEED every day, and during the holiday season? What do you want to change about this time of year? This is no right/wrong, good/bad. You CAN do what works for you! Honor yourself and your needs by giving yourself permission to do what is best for you. Be brave and go to a movie on the holiday, be courageous and stay home to take a hot bath, listen to music, and watch tv sitting comfortably on your couch with someone you love. Don’t do things that make you feel bad about yourself! If you feel bad just thinking of doing something, stop and ponder why you are doing it. YOU HAVE THE POWER! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU IF YOU ARE FEELING CRAPPY AROUND THIS TIME! This feeling is the voice of your soul telling you that something is off. It is more than okay to listen! Big Love to all!

 

 

This is a great talk about vulnerability. Being fully human means being vulnerable. Feeling your full range of emotions and opening your heart in order to honor your needs and the needs of others in a healthy way.

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Posted in Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Nurture yourself, Self hate, Self-love | No Comments »

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