Does life looks a LOT different than it did last year? Sis, I get it! We see our lives one way, and then BAM! The unexpected, or unplanned happens. Whether you've experienced the loss of a loved one, a separation, a divorce, a move ( each hard on their own!)- There is a way to THRIVE- really!
I have been in this place a few times over my life- from the loss of my Mother, to my separation and divorce- and it is freaking hard, AND there are a few things I want to share with you if you are navigating this upcoming holiday season in a very different chapter than last year.
1. Notice what YOU need.
Yep- that's right. Take an inward look at what you need. Are you needing quiet? Extra rest? or needing to be around others? Need a change of scenery? This is Self - Care. When you are navigating a "new normal" self care is so important. And if you need help- ask. There is NOTHING weak about asking for help when you need it. (read that again!)
2. Set Boundaries.
Boundaries are life changing sister, and there's this misunderstanding about them- this idea that boundaries place a wall up- that boundaries are "mean."
Here's a truth nugget: Boundaries are life giving! Boundaries actually let others know how and where to find you, how to love you best- YES! Really!
Boundaries are a tool I use to take care of myself and others in a healthy way.
When we set boundaries, there's really no need to tell the other parties at all. Your boundary is being set for you, to provide you with what you need.
It may look like having a plan about how much time you spend with Negative Aunt Nancy, or if you choose to not go to the 5 Christmas celebrations on the 25th of December because with an 18 month old- well that would be a recipe for disaster.
Or it may mean choosing to do something different than you ever have....Thanksgiving with a few friends instead. Here's the magic with boundaries- they allow you to BE you, to Stand in your truth, and to choose what you need without shrinking, or staying quiet about what you really need.
3. It will look different.
Recognizing that we can't recreate what once was, is rough. The beauty here is that those experiences are now memories, and this new chapter- as hard as it is, offers you the opportunity to begin again. Start NEW traditions. Try Pizza & game night on Thanksgiving with friends, or find a local event in your new town that you'd like to check out....bring a thermos of Hot Cocoa and make a fun night of it! You can choose to see the beauty.
4. Make a plan.
The holidays tend to creep up on us when we are navigating new...so take a look at the calendar, check out events around your area that you may want to dive into....and ask others if you could join them (if that's what you need) for the holiday meal.
And have a Back up plan. Yep- in case all of your friends are out of town, or for whatever reason it won't work out- make a plan for yourself. You may not feel like being around friend Jo's family on that day- That's ok. Do you, and activate Plan B.
So whatever chapter you are in, whether your children are coming to see you, or if they will be at your ex's...if you are in a town where you don't know anyone (that was me last year), Or if there is someone missing from your table this year....make a plan. Take a look inward at what it is you need. Set boundaries & know it's time to start some new traditions & experience beautiful things in a new way. You can Thrive!