Happy Holidays to you and yours. I say this with as much conviction as I can muster up. When thinking about this year in review, wow, it’s really been tough. Our lives have changed drastically in many ways – virtual learning, working remotely, wearing masks outside of our homes, restrictions on the daily lives we used to live – I could go on and on, but you’re living this too, so I bet you get the gist.
Cue in music “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…it’s the happ happiest time of the year”… for some of us this is not the case, right? This is a wonderful time of the year and it is a constant reminder that the people we want to spend this time of the year with are no longer with us physically. There are days when we feel okay, happy, and desire to connect with others. Then there are days that hit us hard. It may be hard to think, focus, or stop the tears from streaming down our faces. These experiences are a part of the process. You know, “the process”, allowing yourself to feel what you feel when you feel it, acknowledging the feels, and accepting that the feels are very much a part of the journey. There’s a bit more to this though. The process also involves action on your part. Doing something to help you work through your feels. How do you take care of yourself when the feels are present? What do you do for you, that helps? This isn’t always the time to think outside the box.
Ask yourself what worked before, what worked last time, but most importantly ask yourself, “What do I need right now, in this moment?” Listen to yourself in this moment. Maybe you need to be alone or need to connect with someone. Maybe taking a walk or listening to music is what you need. It could be that you need to rest or watch a show on television. The important thing here is that you listen to you and do what you need to do for you. The actions help us cope with the feels and work through them in our own unique ways. Coping is not intended to “fix” it or to make it go away, coping simply allows you the space to feel it and work through it in a way that works best for you.
So, cue music again… “tis the season to”… allow yourself some grace. Advocate for yourself. Use your words to voice what you need and when you need it. If you need alone time, ask for it. If you need to connect with someone, let them know. Allow yourself to enjoy this holiday season without feeling guilty for doing so. Honor and remember your person in ways that feel good for you. Lastly, this is your journey. People will always offer you advice, they’ll tell you what worked and didn’t work for them, and what you should do and shouldn’t do. People have good intentions. Remember that your journey is different and we all experience it differently. There is nothing wrong with listening to what worked and didn’t work for someone else. Follow your instincts and continue to do what’s best for you.
Happy Holidays to you and yours. We are thinking about you and want you to know that your ExCamps family is here for you.
What realistic and heartwarming advice: “Give yourself some grace” is a beautiful way to express,
“Be gentle with yourself.”
Thankfully, you and the other Experience Camps family know you are there for each other through the toughest of times, through the bonding time, through the growing times, That has to be a “forever” feeling.
Thank you for sharing your honest and healing thoughts.
With love to you and the entire Experience Camps family,
Marlin Arky Feldman