Certainly 2020 will go down in history as the year we experienced a new normal. As we enter into this holiday season, rearranging our perspective and expectation might be helpful and necessary. For many, this has been a year to work on healthy self-care. Maybe you’ve had more time with a select few family and friends. For others the isolation and loneliness has been a significant challenge. I would suggest a few things you can focus on this holiday season.
I would encourage you to continue good self-care. Pick one specific compelling aspect of self-care that particularly speaks to you. Some different ideas might be to build a new habit like a daily practice of developing a gratitude list of what you are thankful for. Another self-care step could be to carve out some dedicated time of renewal for yourself. Do you need time for self-reflection? Time to read a good book; a cup of coffee just by yourself? Time with friends? Those things aren’t selfish to desire and might give you just what you need to connect better with your family.
Maybe you aren’t going to be able to get together with your family this year. You might consider sending some personal notes (like the old fashioned hand written ones) where you send words of appreciation or express a fond or funny memory to a loved one, especially those you may not see often or those that have been somewhat isolated. I always enjoy a hand written note expressing a kind and thankful word more than a family newsletter.
This could be the year to begin some new personal or family traditions. Think about what you value and come up with new ways of living that out. Keep it simple. Take your time in conversations. Taste the words before they come out of your mouth. Listen well be to the ones you love most with an open, generous and empathetic heart.
Joe Bucha, LPC