With our world still in disarray because the pandemic is still in play, we are faced with new challenges in our stepfamilies. Despite the uncertainty, time moves on. We are now entering the unknown of a pandemic during the rapidly approaching holiday season. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we will be celebrating many more traditions and festivities with our family and friends come December. What do we do? How can we handle more stress, more expectations, more opportunities with more at stake than the last 6 months? It really is so critical right now to focus on peace, pace and patience to help everyone- especially ourselves – get through.
1) Peace: yes this is the time of year where we have good will toward all men and the like. But now, more than ever, we need to find our OWN peace. What does that look like? Lowering your expectations for yourself and others. GRACE. Be gentle. Focus on BE-ing. Being present. Being balanced. Being aware. Being kind. Paramount to this is self care. Put yourself on a time out. Go for a walk breathe in some sun, or sit in the sun. Feel it enter your heart space. Breathe deeply into it and imagine it entering your toes up to your heart. Then imagine it entering your finger tips to your heart. Then imagine it entering your head to your heart. Notice how it warms your body. BREATHE again. How do you feel now? Relaxed? Yesss!! You can use this visualization or meditation as often as you need to. Carve out your own piece of peace by tuning INWARDS not focussing on the OUTSIDE stuff.
2) Pace: slowwww down. Take the unnecessary things of your to -do list. Cross of the “should do” and focus on the necessary to do. Delegate tasks to others. If that isn’t workable in your stepfamily, then let some of those standards soften. It’s ok to cut corners if the outcome is a less stressed, anxious or depressed mama heading the house hold. Did you even know there are TONS of tips on how to hack everything from cleaning your house to cooking to packing suitcases? Yeah there is!! It’s awesome it’s as easy as Googling or checking out Pinterest. Short and sweet. Then when you are done in record time, sit back, relax, replenish. Focus on your well being and how wonderful it is to slow down and chill. And try the tip above of just breathing. Savour the tea, be mindful in your moments and your movements instead of caving to the chaos. Don;’t let the agenda of others infringe on your wellbeing. Self care will also allow you to slow things down
3) Patience: be gentle and forgiving of yourself and others. Extend some extra flexibility to others and especially to yourself. That comes with lowering your expectations of how this season is supposed to go or be or look like or feel. When things don’t go as planned be willing to let go of the deadlines too. I have to often remind myself that Covid has stretched EVERYONE’S capacity to cope, to be gentle, to be generous. So be generous in your head and heart space. And creating more time for your self care will create more space be more care full for others.
You can have a more peaceful family holiday if you are able to, slow down the pace and allow space and grace for yourself so you can extend that to others. It really is so important as stress increases during the holiday season to MAKE time for self care. Examples of self care look like resting when you can, eating a balanced diet, moderating your alcohol consumption, putting limits on demands, and saying no so you can set boundaries on annoying behaviours. Once you give yourself permission to have a peaceful, slow paced and patient season you can navigate the demands with more ease. Have a joyous season.