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

Yummmm, I can smell that pumpkin pie from here! And that seasonal music and lighting… It’s getting to be that time of year again.

We are entering the holiday season, which is a time of family, traditions, memories, expectations, socializing, entertaining, and LOTS of STRESS.

Think about this, November is National Diabetes Month. Right at Thanksgiving (and a variety of religious holidays), when families and friends are getting together, having parties and dinners, baking up a storm and … well, EATING!  We are also being alerted that diabetes is reaching alarming numbers. I just recently heard that over a third of a billion people have diabetes. Something is very wrong here!

What IS going on?

While most of us have some positive anticipation about being with family we may not have seen for a while, there is usually some anxiety about how it will go, and often for very good reason.

How many of you have experienced getting back together with relatives and felt the pull to fall into an old family role that may not be serving your present life?

What about old hurts and unresolved conflicts hidden behind the holiday smiles and hugs?

How about competition with siblings, cousins and co-workers? What about the lingering grief about a relative who is no longer with us that gets put on the back burner until we are together again, yet remains unexpressed. What about the company party or the school parties where we are supposed to add all of this activity into an already busy life? We don’t even have to mention the financial stress of this time, and sometimes not enough resources to pull off the expected holiday.

That’s a lot of stress!

The truth is we think we crave sweets and goodies during this time, but what do you really crave?

I don’t know about you, but for me, I really crave connection.

We may crave being loved, being seen and important, being respected. So much of our holiday season evokes a warm, happy, nostalgic, cheery time.

We all want that.

But, really, how often does the holiday season meet with our expectations, our longings, and our true cravings? Many of us seek to satisfy these unmet needs, desires and cravings with overeating, choosing foods we normally would not eat, alcohol and other indulgences. Not really being attentive, we seek to meet our emotional needs with something that doesn’t actually fulfill us.

What keeps us from having the connection, the love, the respect and importance we crave?

Who is running your show? Do you depend on the other people in your life to stop expecting things from you, to connect with you in a way you want, to give you the love and respect you desire? Do you give your power to your family and friends to determine for you if you are valuable, lovable, and important?

The truth is, each one of these things is our own responsibility, and the quality of our relationships has to do with our emotional makeup and our personality, not the other person’s.

At UTUE, we can guide you to effectively resolve and clear old patterns, emotions, expectations, and energies that keep you from having what you really need, want and desire.

We specialize in Green Personalities. This is your personality that stems directly from your core, rather than from unseen motivations and drives. We consider this an organic personality that doesn’t need to look outside itself for satisfaction by needing things from others or filling tummies with holiday indulgences.

Written by Amanda Zabel, M.A.Ed., LPC, NCC, Certified UTUE Practitioner

When you have an addiction, it can feel like it consumes you; but when you learn the emotions that are triggering the addiction, you have a tool to make other choices. This tool is the UTUE Clearing; as you clear the negative emotions, the addictive behaviors will fade.

When it comes to the subject of losing weight the focus is on the food you eat, and how to change your diet and exercise. All these things are important factors in losing and maintaining your weight. But is there something else to consider? We invite you to change your perspective to focus on the negative emotions that cause us to overeat, eat compulsively, or eat the wrong foods. If we can change our perspective about our negative emotions, we can change our ability to maintain our weight. What have been your struggles with weight? Do you see a relationship between your emotions and your weight?