Holiday Self-Care Tips
Be mindful of your thoughts, feelings — and set healthy boundaries for you and others
Every morning I try to wake up with an attitude of gratitude, but for a lot of people like myself — the holidays are an unintentional reminder of how many people we’ve lost before, during and after the pandemic. So I want to take a moment to remind us to take care of ourselves as we take care of others this holiday season.
A fellow writer reminded me that I wrote about how our bodies seem to remember loss even when our minds forget. As I write about holiday food and give tips and tricks on how to make our guests feel comfortable, loved and well nourished, we now know it’s just as important to take care of our own mental health, thoughts and emotions.
I won’t lie, I’m an emotional eater, cook and feeder and it’s not always a bad thing. I don’t just love to eat. I love to cook, feed and teach others how to make yummy satisfying and nutritious meals. It warms my heart to watch someone taste a fork-full of something I cooked and make audible sounds of delight.
I remember so many wonderful holiday memories filled with love and laughter, food and fellowship and I never want those to be tarnished by my sense of loss. I come from the religious and cultural tradition of celebrating a person’s life versus focusing on their death. Words and expression are also an integral part of my cultural traditions. Our funerals are called homegoing ceremonies and it’s a celebratory farewell as they transition from their physical form to the spiritual realm. I believe that the person isn’t “gone” they live forever in our hearts, memories and in spirit form. I personally believe they become our guardian angels.
I’m sorry for sprinkling a little celestial seasonings into this conversation, but that is where faith and religion helps me and I’m sure many others cope with grief and loss.
The holiday season can be a very lonely time for those of us who’ve lost our closest and dearest family members and friends. My body seems to subconsciously start the mourning process in October which is when I lost my mother many years ago. Then, as I start planning my holiday meals it is my grandmother’s memories that seems to guide me, but oddly enough when I…