I see you babe.
You’ve made the conscious choice to remove yourself from your toxic ass family.
If you are choosing to put yourself first by staying away from family members who are bad for your mental health, who are abusive and nasty, then good for you!! I applaud your choice as it takes real courage to do this … you go girl!!
Or maybe they’ve made the decision to remove YOU from the holiday events based on your political views, sexual or gender identification, or any other reason that dysfunctional families will make up.
It’s painful AF or maybe it’s confusing and overwhelming? Maybe you’re feeling ALL the feels right now and that’s ok!
Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing in the world (which news flash, is why a lot of people don’t do the right things because they think they can’t do hard).
I get it! Y’all know that I’m a survivor of a toxic family dynamic and I have not participated in a family holiday in over 35 years! There were a few years that I was alone on a holiday whether it was Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas. Yep, it was just me.
Most of the time though I spent it with my friends (who as my bestie says, is the family we CHOOSE), particularly with those who were also outsiders in their own families so this always helped me feel loved and less alone. Of course, now I have my own family (first with my son and then one my husband Paul and I created 14 years ago) so holidays look quite different for me these days, but I still remember the ones I spent alone which is to say I totally get what you’re going through. You are not alone!
Let’s look at some tips to help you get through this upcoming holiday!
- Create Your Own Traditions girl! Establish new traditions that bring you joy. Whether it’s watching your favorite movies, cooking a special meal, or taking a nature walk, make these activities your own holiday rituals.
- Reach Out to Friends: Connect with friends who may also be spending the holidays alone. Plan a get-together, exchange messages, or even consider joining local community events or gatherings.
- Volunteer or Give Back: Engage in volunteer work or acts of kindness during the holidays. Helping others can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and you might meet like-minded individuals along the way.
- Practice Self-Care: Take care of your well-being by prioritizing self-care. This could include activities like reading, listening to music, practicing mindfulness, or treating yourself to something special.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Manage your expectations for the holiday season. It’s okay if things don’t go as planned, and it’s okay to feel a mix of emotions. Allow yourself the space to experience whatever comes up.
- Stay Active: Physical activity can be a great mood booster. Consider going for a walk, practicing yoga, or engaging in any form of exercise that you enjoy.
- Reflect & Set Goals: Take advantage of the solitude to reflect on the past year and set goals for the upcoming one. Use this time for personal growth and self-improvement. I do this now even though I have family to share the holiday season with.
- Embrace Creativity: Channel your emotions into creative outlets. Whether it’s writing, drawing, painting, or any other form of artistic expression, creativity can be a therapeutic way to navigate your feelings.
- Celebrate Your Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, big or small, throughout the year. Reflect on the positive aspects of your life and the progress you’ve made.
- Consider Professional Support: If you find the holidays particularly challenging, consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor. Talking to someone can provide valuable perspective and coping strategies.
I hope these tips help you reframe (you know I love to do this!) the upcoming holidays! Remember that your peace is invaluable so any time you start to think that there’s something lacking in you or that you’re not worthy of love because of what your family of origin is doing, just tell yourself you’re putting yourself first! Priceless!
Remember: embracing solitude during the holidays can be an act of self-preservation, an opportunity to heal, and a chance to redefine the meaning of family.
As always, if you need support, we’ve got you! We can give you extra love and positive regard during the upcoming months which everyone needs! You can self-schedule here now, email our Administrative Goddess at email@example.com, or give us a buzz at 301-690-0779.