UTUE

How to Practice Self-Care While Participating in Family Expectations



How to Practice Self-Care While Participating in Family Expectations

If the holidays have taken an emotional and physical toll on you in the past, now is the time to start preparing a plan of action so you can practice a new way of being with the holidays.

As we enter this holiday season, there are a few things that are vital to our self-care:

  1. First is the acknowledgement that we truly are worthy of listening to that deep part of ourselves that helps show us how to recognize and meet our own needs, both emotional and physical, during this time. Often we put off meeting our needs because of the fear that we are being selfish. The truth is that taking care of ourselves always puts us in a better place and makes daily life more sustainable, especially during the holidays.
  2. Be present with your needs. Know that the better you are taking care of yourself, the easier it will be to spend time with those you love.
  3. Breath. There is nothing easier and more immediate than breathing to re-center and rejuvenate. Take breaks from family gatherings to reconnect with nature, there is energy and power in nature to rejuvenate yourself.
  4. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise to turn the tide on stress. Keep the focus on yourself in order to stay balanced. Find creative ways to work these three vital components into the days of celebrating. These are the ways to insure enough rejuvenation in order to be able to function better and have a healthy attitude.
  5. Keep the focus on gratitude. The attitude of gratitude changes the energy of any gathering. Gratitude lends a special vitality to everyone and every experience during this time. Find something to focus on that reawakens a sense of gratitude.

There are a few general toxic emotions that can be cleared using the UTUE process during the holidays. Taking a few moments and clearing these emotions will help put the celebration back in your step.

  1. Clear the rules and regulations about putting ourselves last when it is time for family and friends to gather.
  2. Clear unrealistic expectations of the holidays meeting everyone’s needs.
  3. Clear taking the sometimes volatile emotions of the holidays personally.
  4. Clear comparing your family to other families, judgment and a sense of competition. Good old fashion acceptance works magic here.

Let’s look at Mary and how she participated in the holidays five years ago. Mary used to spend tons of time making lists, shopping, and agonizing over the meals as she believed that this year she would be creating a gathering that would be totally “perfect”.  Starting the process, she would always have the highest hopes and goal to finally get it right. And to all appearances, she would, and yet she would end up not feeling satisfied or happy at all.

As time went on, frustrations mounted and nerves would grow thin. She would cut back on sleep, start stress eating just to feel good for a few moments, adding in chocolate and caffeine as a way of getting that extra boost of energy that seemed necessary at the moment. Staying up late to finish that last appetizer, trying to get the house cleaned, and spending extra time in traffic took its toll on Mary’s energy and her attitude.

When the day rolled around, Mary tried to regain that sense of holiday celebration and gratitude. Deep within her though, was a sense of let down. Something was wrong, and worse, she felt like she was “wrong” and she just kept trying harder to make the day happen.

Today Mary has an entirely new approach to the holiday season. She has been able to acknowledge that the old stressful way of preparing for the holidays no longer works for her. She had started clearing with her UTUE teacher, and has been able to clear the rules that she hadn’t questioned around how holidays are supposed to happen. She also has been able to stop trying to make up for all the times she lost her temper during these family gatherings as she cleared old guilt and shame that kept tainting her ability to be in the present moment.

Today she is able to know that seeing to her needs for ample sleep, simple planning, exercise and wholesome foods makes the holidays a lot more manageable and enjoyable for her, and therefore everyone else involved. She is also seeing that her need for the perfect holiday celebration was an obstacle to having a real holiday celebration. Things are much more laid back and simple these holidays at Mary’s home. And they can be at yours too!

Written by Merrilee Town, Certified UTUE Practitioner