Every family has different holiday traditions and customs, but it is not uncommon for individuals to feel strained by social and cultural expectations, especially related to family gatherings and diet culture. Although this time of year is meant to be filled with gratitude and generosity, many people find themselves feeling criticized or judged. This is also a time of year when it may become especially hard to maintain boundaries with friends and loved ones.
If you find yourself feeling overloaded with responsibilities and expectations this time of year, it may be helpful to introduce a regular practice of mindfulness alongside your daily to-do list. Journaling about what’s important to you during this season, reaching out to trusted and compassionate loved ones, or taking a walk to step out of a bustling childhood home for a few minutes - these are all ways to ground yourself and take care of your emotional health. As we move towards the end of the year, remind yourself that you deserve compassion and gentleness - from others, and especially from yourself.