Do you struggle to validate your own emotions and put them as a priority equal to everyone else’s? Do you find that making others happy comes WAYYYYYY before meeting your own needs?
This can be especially difficult during the holidays because of expectations that arise during this time of year. The holidays are about doing for others and giving, giving, giving!!!! This is all fine and dandy except for the level of stress that comes for someone who already feels the pressure to meet these demands on a normal day. Then add in the extra pressure of the holidays and the expectations to give even more leaves a pleaser feeling TOTALLY and COMPLETELY drained.
Does this describe you?!
If so, I am here to tell you that it is okay to give, but be aware of your needs too. Assess how much you are able to give, without giving up your own needs. This is the perfect time to do this, because this is when the giving hype is at its max. Therefore, if you are able to take the time to asses your needs and be willing to make them a priority, without guilt, then you can do it ANY time of the year.
Guilt, oh your best friend, right? NO!! You hate it, but it lives with you on a daily basis. It knows you the most out of anyone and it’s like a growth that you can’t get rid of, always there, especially when it’s the most inconvenient.
Why should you feel guilty for having your own needs? It is okay to have needs, in fact, everyone does and they are something that we can’t get rid of, nor should we try to. In fact, it is part of being human. It is okay to assess, express, and meet your needs. This is nothing you need to feel guilty about. Putting yourself as a priority is a need and one that NEEDS to be fought for. No one else is going to fight for your needs to be met, besides you!
On top of having guilt around meeting our own needs, we also fight “shoulds” this time of year. I bring up “should” for a reason. Should is a very strong power play in our vocabulary and how we think we need (could be should) to live our lives. Should comes from pre-set rules and expectations by our society, family members, and friends on how we need to live and what is "right" and "wrong". We become so critical of ourselves and find ourselves living based on what makes others happy. We live for acknowledgement and appreciation of others to feel good enough. This becomes EXHAUSTING. Should becomes the base of our pleasing. But, should needs to walk off stage left and exit the building, because we have no space for it in our lives. It holds us back and inhibits is from living our best life. Should keeps us living for others and not valuing what we need in our own life.
How can you acknowledge and make your feelings a priority this season?
You have the right to your own feelings and opinions during the holiday season, whether someone agrees or not. Whether you are around someone who loves the holidays and you are struggling. Or maybe you are the one around someone who is struggling, but you love the holidays. You don’t have to be at the same emotional spot as everyone else around you. Assess your needs and determine what you need during the holidays.
Make yourself a priority this holiday season, you don’t have to give until the point of exhaustion. Do what you can, give what you can, and allow that to be enough. How can you take some time for yourself?
Nurtured Hearts Counseling's Blog
I am a Therapist in Lone Tree, Colorado and my goal for this blog is to explore taboo subjects that no one is willing to talk about and I am eager to bring awareness to.
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