• Second Opinion Magazine

Three Pivotal Steps to Fast-Track Your Most Playful Holiday Season Ever

by Sara Hefty HHC, BBA

Much love to our families. And, I’m curious: Who else notices they get triggered around the holidays? Who else notices that when they’re around their childhood families, things shift—they’re more tense, edgy, spiteful? And who else would like to enjoy the holidays with their loved ones by showing up as the most playful version of themselves?

Here’s how to crowd-out holiday-hampering behaviors with playfulness.

Pivotal Step 1: Notice

Notice when you’re rocking one of these four holiday-hampering behaviors: making everything perfect, pretending everything is fine, putting yourself last, or having a hard time taking a compliment. Consider you’re building up your “noticing muscle” each time you become aware you’ve entered holiday-hampering mode.

Pivotal Step 2: Spaciousness

Be kind to yourself by getting curious. Once you notice a holiday-hampering behavior, give yourself the spaciousness to pause and check in on what might really be going on for you.

The great thing in this approach is exploring old patterns as a gift. So instead of seeing patterns with a critical eye, you can choose to meet them with compassion and curiosity and receive the real, underlying message.

The real, underlying message in the case of our holiday-hampering behaviors may be that we feel we don’t totally belong. It’s as if we have to hide a part of who we are in order to be accepted, or to not be rejected, like it’s not okay to make a mistake, show feelings, have needs or successes.

Upon noticing the perfection, pretending, putting yourself last, or having a hard time taking a compliment, give yourself spaciousness by asking: “Am I hiding a part of who I am in order to be accepted or to not be rejected?”

Pivotal Step 3: Play with Belonging

Now, come up with three new behaviors that let you know you belong. Behaviors you could play with when you notice you’re in holiday-hampering mode.

Here are two of my favorites: • During the holiday season, repeat the words “I belong” over and over while brushing your teeth. • Decide to show up at holiday gatherings as someone who is happy, confident, playful, and belongs. Ask yourself, “As someone who is happy, confident, playful, and belongs, I would choose to be/say/do ________________ in this situation.” • Play with those. See what comes up for you. • Here’s to choosing to believe you belong and showing up as the most playful version of yourself—this holiday season and beyond!

#family #holiday

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