For some, the holiday season consists of warm celebrations, connections with loved ones and celebrations that create lasting memories for years to follow.
While for others, holidays are a reminder of a feeling of loneliness or a change in the way this season is represented… when a seat at the dinner table is empty due to a lost loved one, when you have to create new traditions if your home was taken from you due to natural disasters, or life hasn’t been quite as ‘jolly’ and ‘bright’ for a number of reasons. Let’s also validate feelings of neutrality even while others around you have a separate meaning of the holiday season.
Sometimes we’d rather snuggle up with a soft blanket and turn the calendar to January 1st.
However you are feeling during this holiday season, you are allowed to honor those feelings and participate (or not) in the things that will help you at this time.
When we’re feeling down, one thing to set our focus on is ourselves and our inner world. We may not be able to control what goes on outside of it, but we can choose how we’ll care for ourselves and move forward.
Here are some questions to ask yourself over the holidays, in order to prioritize you:
Notice in the last question, I used the word intentions. I hesitate to use the word resolutions, due to it being a bit negative, full of unrealistic expectations and one dimensional. Over the years, resolutions were defined by overgeneralized ideas based around aesthetic and unnatural standards. An issue with resolutions is that the unspecific list commonly used doesn’t apply to every person.
So let’s call them intentions so we can soften the term and redefine its meaning.
What are some of your intentions for 2023? I challenge you to make a list of five to start. Think about what you value and what would help to bring fulfillment, ease and accomplishment into the new year.
When you’re having a tough time staying with these intentions, go back to your values and remind yourself why you set them in the first place.
Here are a list of some ideas whether it be around celebrating the holidays or personal growth for the new year:
- Communicate the need for healthy boundaries with loved ones, co-workers, etc.
- Think of thoughtful and creative gift ideas that show your unique appreciation and enthusiasm for giving.
- Redefine the holidays and focus on what actually matters to you.
- Wellness habits that apply to your specific health needs, lifestyle and way of living.
- Take the first action toward pursuing that hobby you wanted to try years ago.
…Speaking of the last idea, creating new intentions doesn’t mean you have to overlook any goal that you set years prior and still wish to accomplish.
We might even get to the end of the year and wonder if we’ll ever get to that one task, that one goal that we set years ago, but still haven’t been able to start or achieve.
So another quick question for yourself…
Why haven’t I been able to work toward the goal or goals that I set for myself years back?
Life is full of roadblocks and detours along the way. While most of it is out of our control, don’t forget to take the exit to a rest stop every once in a while to recharge. When we do so, we are learning to sustain compassion for ourselves when we can’t get to every single goal on our list.
So what didn’t you get to do in 2022 that you can strive to achieve in 2023?
By taking a look at old and new intentions, you are better able to prioritize them and begin working toward making an effort in the new year.
Lastly, how have you grown in the last year and what lessons will you carry into the new year?
Oftentimes, we don’t offer ourselves the credit that we deserve for making progress, especially if it isn’t the place we hoped to be in. For example, maybe you’ve been given a new physical challenge where you’ve had to change your life around in order to meet the needs of your body. We tend to focus on how we’ve had to reduce or limit our activities and even interactions. But instead, we need to be kind and love the way that we’ve shown up for ourselves.
It’s okay if there is still a long road ahead because the only reason you see a path forward is due to how far you’ve already come.
We are never alone in our struggles because no matter the magnitude, we each are faced with conflicts that we were tougher for afterwards because we leaned into it and looked toward, rather than away.
Learning to adapt is a super power.
Giving yourself credit for adapting to life altering shifts is a huge accomplishment and a successfully accomplished intention!
Let’s make 2023 a year of continuous adaptability, compassion for the self and intention setting.
Macy Cassera is a life coach and freelance writer who helps others rebuild after loss and change so they can create a fulfilling and authentic life full of purpose. To get in touch with Macy, please send her an email or send a message through her official website or Instagram.