Why creating your own traditions can be the best thing ever do for your mental health.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

you either:

1. Just started singing that song and can’t get it out of your head.
or
2. You just cringed.

If holidays are totally you’re thing, awesomesauce.
But if you’re the holiday Grinch or get the holiday blues, keep reading.

During the holidays seasons, depression and anxiety is at a peak.
Suppressed emotions about our family comes up, we go through a sense of grief for those no longer here with us to celebrate,  and anxiety about big social gatherings with your uncle ted who you just never really understood.

I’m going to share a short story on how changing my yearly traditions gave me power to create new happy traditions, ones that I hope last for generations.

I grew up in a wild style-split kind of family. I never knew if that holiday would go by with a breeze or wonder who was going to throw the first punch.

When I became a mom, that changed.

I no longer had to make decisions for myself, every decision results in how their life becomes.

Never will they spend a holiday in wonder of fear.

I was 17 the last time I spent a holiday with them.

I married my teenage love, who came with a big loving Italian family.

Their get togethers are always filled with to-die-for Italian cooking, games, and movies.

It gave me that sense of, “this is what holidays are suppose to feel like.”

After my divorce, I was faced with the decision on how to celebrate holidays.

I first wanted to hide under the covers all day and allow the holiday to just pass by.

But, you don’t choose to do that when you’re a mother.

Because what I choose, directly affects them.

That’s where our Holiday Breakfasts comes in.

Out of every meal of the day, breakfast style is perfectly acceptable at all times of the day.

It’s our all time favorite.

I wake up super early in the morning to begin chopping and baking.

With 2 cups of coffee down before my children even begin to open their eyes to the smell of (vegan) cinnamon apple French toast, biscuits, fresh fruit, sweet breads, grits, homestyle potatoes……..there’s so much food.

We don’t dress up and are typically always in our pjs still at noon.

The kids snack on mini muffins and breads until our feast is ready.

One-by-one people begin to arrive.

We never really know who is going to show up that year to our breakfast, we kind of just have this thing we say,

“If you want some good breakfast or need somewhere to go and be around feel good stuff, our door is open”

What first started with just my children and brother now holds the door open to new people every year.

Every year it’s wonderful.

& every year I realize how long it’s been since there was a drama free holiday in my life.

It’s been about 11 years now.

Because the people in my life, the new people who walk through my door for meals are there for community, good food, and to celebrate life that brought us all together.

 

mn-tree.jpg

You create the life you desire within your daily habits,
how you spend your holidays works the same.

You get to a point where you recognize that you have choices.

Choose to mope and moan as the holidays come and go

or

Choose to create a day that feels good for you.

Skip going to 6 different houses in 2 days.

Skip saying you’ll make something to bring for each 6 house.

Say “no thank you, I’m taking some down time this year” if  you’d rather stay home and make tacos or take a hike.

 

Know that it’s okay to say no and okay go and decide to leave when you’re ready.
You don’t need to feel bad for ever leaving.
Never feel bad for leaving somewhere you don’t really want to be,
& don’t feel bad for saying no to something you don’t want to do.

YOU have the power to choose.

Holidays don’t really suck, it’s how you choose to see it and use it

So, this year take the opportunity to do something for the holidays that you want to do, and maybe something that generations to come will love too.

Your HappyHelper,
Chelsie Brooke

 

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