|[Image text, a little green robot saying, "Annual reminder: The holidays are a tough time for a lot of people. Please check on your friends." Source.]
- Fat shame free holiday gatherings (I wrote 10 tips related to Thanksgiving, but they're actually applicable for holiday gatherings in general.)
- Family Stress and Imperfect Holidays (In which I remind you there's nothing wrong with you if you're not having a perfect holiday season.)
- Rethinking New Year's Resolutions (My fat shame free resolution primer.)
- READ THIS IF YOUR HOLIDAY SUCKS AND YOUR FAMILY STRESSES YOU OUT (from a Tumblr user to everyone who feels this way.)
- The Femisting Guide to Surviving the Holidays (Really comprehensive guide from the Feministing crew.)
- How to deal with your relatives' holiday harassment (Jill Filipovic has some advice on the topic in a video.)
- Talking Turkey: Eight Easy Steps for Discussing Reproductive Health and Justice at the Holiday Table (which I think has some good applications for other sensitive topics too.)
- 5 Ways to Handle a Racist Relative (simple, straightforward starting place.)
- 6 Ways to Survive Food and the Holidays (food and self care at the holidays.)
- Being proactive (instead of reactive, my general life philosophy...which I think can be extra helpful during the holidays.)
- Self care is not selfish (Zerlina Maxwell's run down on self-care for RH Reality Check.)
- Surviving the Holidays as Queer People of Color: Give the Gift of Media (advice from Spectra Speaks.)
- How to Survive and Enjoy the Holidays (Very light, but positive-focused tips.)
- Avoiding Burnout with Authenticity and Boundaries (three concrete tips.)
- How to handle family stress during the holidays (two basic concepts from Stanford and health psychologist Kelly McGonigal.)
- The Radical Self Love blog has an on-going list.
- 6 Research Backed Tricks that Will Help You Have a Happier Holiday (pretty surface level, but also important.)
- 20 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year.
Don't forget to check in on yourself, too. Sometimes we get so caught up in going and going and going that we don't even realize we need a moment of self care. Last week I was reading the last link from the list above in bed. I just randomly happened upon it on Facebook and found it to be pretty obvious stuff. Then I came across #9 "Let go of being the 'go-to person' for everyone, all the time..." I needed to read that. I didn't know I needed to read it until I saw it and let the words wash over me. It had been a rough few days at work and I just let myself sit on that phrase for a few minutes, soaking in the concept, took some deep breaths and felt better just by doing that. The phrase stuck with me for the next few days of work and just by setting the intention to stop being the "go-to person" I had a happier, less stressful time.
Sometimes self care can be as simple as that, but if we don't take second to check in on ourselves, we'll completely miss those needed moments of peace until it's all built up and we are drowning under stress, anxiety, sadness, etc.
We can't change our families and the other people we spend time around over the holidays...but we can set boundaries and try to create spaces and situations that feel safer and happier for us. And when/if that fails, we can love ourselves and show ourselves and others compassion. (And yes, sometimes that means no going places or seeing people, even if we are excepted to.)
As always for this time of year, blogging will be sparse and sporadic until early January. If you celebrate, I hope you have a Merry Christmas. And a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year to everyone.
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