The first holiday milestone has come and gone with Thanksgiving observed with family and friends or maybe strangers or maybe even alone. How did you do? Did you make en effort to reach out and invite, not because it was expected of you, but because you wanted to? Did you take time to savor the quiet moments? Were you able to overlook annoyances for the most part and breathe through any uncomfortable moments? Did you feel that you were enough, whether you received any affirmations or not? Did you feel stirrings of gratitude even though things might be far from where you had hoped they would be?
Holidays can be uplifting and joyful, and they can also tug at our heartstrings for absences we especially feel at this season of gathering, including the absence of our authentic selves. The ultimate test of how we navigate holidays is how comfortable and accepting we feel toward our own selves.
So much of mental and emotional wellness rests on learning to be comfortable with ourselves. The comfort is the result of listening to our own needs and honoring them. For some of us, the comfort of being at home with ourselves follows not trying so hard to please everybody else while abandoning self care. For some of us, comfort being with ourselves follows accepting and forgiving our shortcomings without feeling we must justify or explain them. For some of us, comfort with ourselves follows keeping our word and knowing that whatever the outcome, we have done the best we knew then and now know how to do.
Holidays give us a moment of pause to ask ourselves how we are doing.