A Mindful Holiday Guide: Navigating Joy and Boundaries with Intention

Dec 15, 2023
cozy blanket and beautiful views to get you through the holidays mindfully

The holiday season is a time of joy and warmth, but it can also bring a unique set of challenges. If you're anything like me, juggling the desire to create joyful memories with the reality of overwhelming responsibilities, this guide is for you. 

Have you ever stopped yourself from taking care of your wellbeing because you felt selfish?

My controversial belief: The main thing holding moms back from caring for themselves isn't time. It's an ingrained belief that it is our role to prioritize others and neglect our own needs. This deep cultural conditioning creates low self-worth. 

They joke about it on Saturday Night Live (Christmas Morning - SNL), but it isn't a joke for the 66% of moms experiencing burnout!

IF you are ready to change this pattern, this guide will help you shift your mindset toward one of self-respect. 

Soon, you'll be treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you give so generously to others...

...and you won't put up with just a robe as a gift! 

It’s always the most caring people who put themselves last. I want to change that, because we're the ones who will create a more empathetic world. 

Let's explore some mindful ways to plan for a holiday that aligns with your values, fosters genuine joy, and, most importantly, preserves your well-being. 


Here are 5 ways you can make space for meaningful connection, and prioritize your well-being, without sacrificing the spirit of the season:

  1. unpack expectations
  2. reimagine traditions
  3. set and hold boundaries with love
  4. nurture your nervous system
  5. honor change and loss

Unpacking Expectations

As the holiday season approaches, it's common to feel the weight of societal and personal expectations. The pressure to please everyone and create the picture-perfect holiday experience can be overwhelming. Take a moment to reflect on the expectations you carry. What societal or familial pressures make this time of year challenging for you? How have past holiday seasons left you feeling drained or overwhelmed? 

In "Atlas of the Heart," Brené Brown refers to "stealth expectations," desires that exist outside of our awareness, and lead straight to resentment and disappointment. This is why it is so important to discover and communicate your needs. If you're unsure which are your own needs and which have been imposed on you, try mindful journaling, or practicing some mindful movement to help you get grounded in awareness of your body.

Reimagining Traditions

Traditions can be a double-edged sword. While they provide a sense of continuity, some may no longer resonate with your evolving values and circumstances. Consider the traditions that genuinely bring joy and meaning to your family. What memories are you most grateful for? How can you adapt or break traditions that no longer serve you without compromising the essence of the holiday? Reflect truthfully on the past and explore new ways to infuse meaning into your celebrations. 

Setting Boundaries with Love

Maintaining healthy boundaries is crucial, especially during emotionally charged holiday gatherings. Identify potential stressors (and those emotional vampires) in your life. How can you establish boundaries to protect your energy while maintaining compassion? Practice saying no with kindness, before you get frustrated or resentful. What boundaries can you put in place to prioritize your well-being without sacrificing the spirit of the season? 

I'm an empath too. I grew up being praised when I was helpful and productive, and ignored when I spoke up for my needs. This is all entangled with holiday memories, like a string of last year's twinkly lights. If that resonates, know that you are not alone.

If you're a people pleaser with porous boundaries, I have something for you: my mini-course Beyond People Pleasing: 3 Keys to Thriving as an Empath. If you're ready to embrace your sensitivity, unlock your emotional resilience, and empower your intuition, this 4 part gentle yoga and journaling series was made for you.

Nurturing Your Nervous System

The holiday hustle and bustle can take a toll on your nervous system. Recognize the signs of overwhelm and stress in your body. How does your nervous system respond during intense holiday moments? You can find 5 minute yoga practices on my YouTube channel to support you. Consider establishing a simple, daily practice to regulate your nervous system. Whether it's deep breathing, mindfulness, or a quick yoga session, find what resonates with you. By incorporating these practices, you'll be better equipped to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of the season. 

Honoring Change and Loss

Change is a constant, and this season may amplify feelings of grief or nostalgia. Acknowledge the changes in your life and any losses you may be dealing with during this time. How can you create meaningful rituals to honor those changes and memories? Take some time to journal about the loved ones you miss or the aspects of the holiday season that have shifted. How can you incorporate these reflections into your celebrations, making space for both joy and acknowledgment of the past? 

As you navigate this holiday season, remember that it's important to prioritize your well-being and joy. By unpacking expectations, reimagining traditions, setting boundaries with love, nurturing your nervous system, and honoring change and loss, you can create a holiday experience that authentically aligns with your values. Embrace the simplicity of what matters most to you, and let this season be a time of genuine connection, meaning, and self-care. 



Stop Walking On Eggshells!

Gentle yoga to release your stress and shift your mindset about struggle.

If you get your buttons pushed often by other people's issues, you may be hypervigilant. You might feel it in your body as clenching, tension, or chronic pain.

You'll become more grounded in awareness of your body.

Stop Walking On Eggshells