How do we walk in authenticity during the holidays when there’s little about this season that seems to encourage being your authentic self? “Spread good cheer,” “All is Merry & Bright,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” In a season that celebrates all things happy, there seems to be little space for anything else.
But the reality is that as the lights and the decorations go up, so do depression and stress for many. It’s important to notice the pressures around us and to acknowledge that we are allowed to continue to be dynamic and imperfect human beings with all the ranges of emotions, even as Holly Jolly Christmas hums in the background.
In order to stay true to yourself and to care for your soul that longs to be free of expectations, be intentional this season about taking time to listen to what you need and to show yourself compassion and kindness. I’ve gathered seven resources that will help you practice authentic soul care this holiday season.
7 Ways to Practice Authentic Soul Care This Holiday Season
1. Create a Cold Weather Self-Care Plan
The colder, darker months of winter can take a toll on our physical and mental health causing us to feel out of line with our authentic self. Our soul care begins with proper self-care. Krista at A Life In Progress offers 10 Science-Based Self Care Tips to Support You Through Fall and Winter.
2. Embrace Simplicity
During the holidays, we not only spend more time inside, but we are also adding to the amount of stuff in our homes through gifts and the temptations of online shopping and seasonal sales. Read these 9 Soul-Thriving Reasons to Simplify by Lisa at Simple & Soul to get motivated to do some soul-satisfying decluttering.
3. Choose a Guiding Word or Phrase to Carry You Through the Year
Can I let you off the hook? You don’t have to make New Year’s resolutions. Nor do you have to ‘celebrate’ the new year, or ‘see it in’ in any certain way. Emma at Simple Slow & Lovely shares how she uses guiding words or phrases to Approach the the New Year with Ease and Mindfulness.
4. Release What No Longer Serves You
The beauty about difficulty, is that it shows us exactly what we don’t want, or what we wish to discontinue, and 2020 has been a perfect mirror for just that. In her post, What I’m Releasing in 2020, Michelle at Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life inspires us to let go of what no longer feels authentic or at peace with who we are right now.
5. Prepare for the Inevitable Holiday Anxiety
In addition to all the warm and fuzzy feelings we get this time of year, the holidays also mean burgeoning to-do lists, a watchful eye on the bank account, and higher-than-normal stress levels. You might be looking forward to the magic of the holidays while simultaneously dreading the anxiety. These 21 Quick-Acting Anxiety Busters for the Holiday Season from Erica at The Life on Purpose Movement will give you simple ways to rein the stress in and to pull yourself back into the present moment this holiday season.
6. Show Yourself Compassion
No matter how much we try to get in the holiday spirit, the truth for some of us is that there will be days or moments that bring deep heaviness or heartache or feelings of guilt or insecurities. Be gentle with yourself. Use this simple practice to foster self-compassion any time you are carrying difficult emotions, and this practice will remind you that you are worthy of compassion no matter how you’re feeling.
7. Journal Toward Authenticity
Something I'm doing this year is embracing the idea of a simple reset in my life. One of the specific ways I’m exploring a simple reset is to notice the frustration, anxiety, judgment, and pain I experience because of my expectations of how life “should” be, how others “should” behave, or how I “ought to” be. And if you’re anything like me, the holiday season brings up a whole special subset of pressures you’ve put on yourself or others.
I’ve created 13 journaling prompts to support you in a simple reset of your own. The prompts are divided according to the 3 key pillars of my work and are intended to help you Embrace Imperfection, Practice Authentic Soul Care, and Take Off Your Mask. Sign up here to find your way back to yourself with The Authenticity Journal ~ my gift to you.
I hope this list of resources brings you courage to show up to the season just as you are.
Grace and Peace,