Holidays can be wonderful. They can also be hell. Complex emotions and expectations surrounding major holidays can take a toll emotionally and cognitively, often impacting our physical well being as well. This short series offers a few things to rethink. Retool. Refresh. Reexamine. Rejuvenate. With a bit of reflection and modification, we can make the holidays brighter and lighter for ourselves and the ones we love.
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This second article on exploring traditions. Traditions can be meaningful, socially significant, and spiritually and culturally beautiful things. They can build a community. Connections to our past. Binding agents in a family. A way to explore ourselves. They can also be a lot of tiresome work, or feel outdated and disconnected from our current lives and concerns.
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There are countless traditions to choose from. This season, uphold and cherish the traditions that bring you and your loved ones the most. Happiness. Reverence. Love & Joy. You don't have to do them all. In an already stressful and time crunched time, don't feel like you have to be a Holiday Superhero - doing ALL the things in ALL the holidayish ways. Just like with your event-based commitments, be selective with your traditions. If it turns out you regretted a change or missed out on something this year, just plan differently next time. Or there's always Christmas in July...
Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as ... a fiddler on the roof! -Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof
CREATE YOUR OWN
The great thing about a tradition, is it can be started at any time. We can create our own. The purpose of a tradition is to share knowledge, connect, and inspire. If none of the usual holiday ones do that for you, do your own thing. It doesn't matter WHAT it is, but HOW you do it. If it creates hope and joy, you're on the right track.
Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. the most powerful ones are those we can't even describe, aren't even aware of. - Ellen Goodman
CREATE WELL BEING
Nearly all the tips in this series have encouraged you to do "less," but this final one is about doing "more" -- doing more to create your well being. Because the holidays are often a time when we KNOW we're going to experience high stress, we need to do more to care for ourselves, and prioritize our health. So that we have many years ahead to enjoy the holiday season. We need to have a plan of action. We need to set ourselves up to win. Even if that's a rough set of ideas. Even if that's just a few small modifications. Even if that's just the desire to change things for the better. Make time for the things that ease your stress, melt your tension, help you process emotions, feel connected in community, foster good sleep and diet habits, and brighten your inner light.