Here at B'well Counseling Services, we're kind of like a family... specifically like that quirky family sitting next to you at dinner that you wish would be a little quieter... And like any quirky family we've put together an annual holiday letter but instead of sharing how our rec. sports team made it to the semi-finals, wowing you with our "10 National Parks in 10 Months" challenge, and boring you into the new year with our misadventures in sous vide cooking, we wanted to share a few reminders we hope you'll hang on to as we head into 2020...
From Emily: For many of us, this season ahead of a new year can be complex; we are faced with the challenge of adjusting to colder weather, and darkness while managing the delicate spectrum of thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with the holiday season. You may be occupied with giving to others, however, I invite you to give a gift to yourself during this time of year: self-love. Be gentle and kind to yourself during this time; the strength you harness through self-love and acceptance is unshakable, authentic, and powerful.
From Amber: The holidays are a fun and exciting time for our little ones (and parents & caregivers alike!) Take some time this year to share with your children the gift of giving back to those in need and the importance of time spent over presents received. Including your children in your holiday philanthropic activities or encouraging them to find new traditions to help spread holiday cheer are excellent ways to ensure that our next generation is growing up with the spirit of the holidays in their hearts. Remember, your love and presence is everlasting and will be held above any toy of the year or the latest gadget. These material things are fleeting but the memory of love and togetherness will stay with your children for years to come.
From Nick: One of the hardest parts of this time of year can be the emphasis on traditions. Sometimes it is great to have these things you bond over with friends and family, but sometimes these traditions can feel obligatory and exhausting when there is so much else going on, or simply because things have changed. So maybe it's time for an updated tradition, or maybe you take a break from the routine. It's important to remember that fun and connection shouldn't feel the same as doing taxes or mowing the lawn - it's not something that you HAVE to do. Change around the holiday season can feel taboo, but how else to new traditions get started?
From Katie: Oh the holidays; a season filled with holly jolly-ness, good cheer, and a strong tide of messaging about food & our bodies. A particular theme I've noticed lately is what I'm calling "who deserves happiness." Take a look or listen around and maybe you'll pick up on it too: if you have the "right body" (ie: normative and conventionally accepted) you earn happiness and according to NONE of the body or weight inclusive the ads I've seen, apparently this also includes holiday happiness. Just in case no one has told you, regardless of your body size, shape, or weight you have full, unapologetic access to happiness now and at any time of year. You do not need to earn your holiday joy in any way. It's here, yours for the taking. And I hope you will! (Also, here are 4 Old Irish Poems to Recite Instead of Commenting On Someone’s Eating. Thanks to the original sharer!)
Wishing you and yours peace in the chaos and light in the darkness of this season. Thank you for being a part of our community. We'll see you in the new year!