By: Jamie Perillo, LPC
The holidays can be full of wonderful activities, visiting with family and friends, and enjoying family traditions, but for many, it can also be an overwhelming, and have too many obligations, expectations, and expenses. When you Parent from you C.O.R.E. you can set limits, focus on your family values, and be present to enjoy the holidays. Here are a few ways to parent from your C.O.R.E. this holiday season:
Communicate: Express your needs. If you need help, time for yourself, or a have a desire to participate in specific traditions or activities, ask for it. Be clear and specific on what you need with those close to you. When your needs are met it is easier to enjoy the season.
One to One Time: There can be a lot of opportunity to run from one party or cookie swap to the next, but it’s important, especially this time of year, to make individual time for you and your family. The big office party may feel important, but imagine the enjoyment of gathering with a small group of friends or taking a family drive while listening to holiday music ad drinking cocoa to view local holiday lights. To explore more family time ideas check out our previous blog on “25 Affordable Family Holiday Activities.” Don’t forget to take a little time for yourself - perhaps make that hot cocoa a little special and enjoy a movie.
Rituals: If you don’t have a few already, this is the perfect time of year to start family rituals or traditions. Choose something meaningful to your family values. Our family enjoys baking cookies, gathering with friends and family, having movie nights, and volunteering.
Emotional Presence: The excitement and often hectic nature of the season can pull you right out of the present moment causing you to miss out on meaningful moments. Many parents express difficulty being present with their children and spouse when they are silently checking off their “to do list” and feeling exhausted. When you notice yourself drifting from the present moment, take a few deep breaths and feel your feet on the floor. Then observe what is occurring around you in that exact moment and describe it to yourself. This exercise will help you let go of your stressful thoughts and re-enter the moment to allow you to enjoy your time with your family. Focus on their smile, laughter, silliness and excitement, or just a moment when you are grateful for where you are and what you have.
By focusing on these steps you will find yourself more relaxed, present, and happier this holiday season.