Holiday survival guide: 5 steps to doing it differently

Here’s a tool to help you center your priorities, reground yourself, and reconnect with the joy and meaning of the season. Winter is a wonderful time to hibernate, go within, and nurture, and this guided journal exercise is an opportunity to do just that.

This comes from one of my personal mentors, the wonderfully warm Karin Marcus of Stepping out Coaching.  Karin is a life coach and life coach trainer.  I had the honor of working with her to receive my Seasons of Change certification; when I’m not making soap, I’m helping people gracefully navigate life’s transitions, and I love my work.


Please make this into a personal mini retreat. Set aside a quiet cozy time for your Self, settle down with your journal, and consider the following questions.

Step One“Why am I doing this?”

Since the beginning of time, every religion, every community, government, and culture has celebrated holidays. Why? What is their inherent value? What do you feel are the 5 most valuable reasons we need to celebrate holidays?

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What is your absolutely best holiday memory? Pick one and take a moment to remember it in detail. Where were you? Who else was there? What where you doing? Be in that moment and recapture all the emotions and feelings it evokes in you.  Write down 5 words that best describe the memory.

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Combine your 2 lists of values and feelings and create your Top 5 Priorities of why you celebrate this holiday.

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Step Two: “If it’s not an absolute YES, it’s a NO!”

Now it is time to think about all the events, chores, duties, responsibilities associated with the holidays. Your Top 5 Priorities List is your litmus test as to whether each particular “tradition” should be repeated this year. If it doesn’t speak to your heart or add to the values you hold dear, then it’s time to let it go.

Off the top of your head list 5 items you will remove from your to-do list this year.

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Step Three: Forget Norman Rockwell!

Accept the fact that your family is not the Walton’s. You are not on the Donna Reed Show or Father Knows Best. (I’m showing my age here.)

Take an honest, realistic look at your family dynamics or the lack thereof. From this perspective, describe what would be a realistic holiday win for the family?

Next, looking back at your Top 5 Priority List, what 5 holiday wishes do you have for your family holiday?

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Step Four: Your Self Care Gift Bag

Even if you masterfully succeeded in steps 1-3 with flying colors, the holidays are still exhausting. You need to have a self care action plan in place. Pack your gift basket now! What 5 acts of self care do you commit to this holiday season?

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Steps Five: Wish Upon a Star

As Jiminy Cricket sang and Rod Stewart wrote in the song above, Dreams do come true.

Deep in your heart set the intention for what would make this holiday truly meaningful for you.

My most heartfelt wish for this holiday is…… _____________________________________.

 

What did you learn?  Do you practice self-care during the holidays? What wishes do you have for the holiday season? Please share in the comments!

Reprinted with permission from Karin Marcus www.SteppingOutCoaching.com

About Michelle Gilbert, CCA, APAIA, R.SPE.P.

Michelle Gilbert, CCA, APAIA, R.SPE.P. is a clinical aromatherapy educator and consultant based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is an instructor at the internationally renowned Aromahead Institute, a contributing writer for Aroma Culture magazine, and has appeared in Health Magazine and other publications. She also serves on the Education Committee for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.

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