Begin to make the shifts that lead to the close, connected relationships you long to experience. Work with the theme and affirmation below. Take time to experience the word and take in the affirmation. Living from these concepts is not always easy. The words and affirmations are designed to help you become more aware and intentional in your relationships.
I create a plan for my time that is truly meaningful.
I maintain a schedule that reflects my values and priorities, including self-care and connection.
I take time to evaluate my needs, preferences and hopes, then determine the priority of each aspect of my life. Next, I evaluate if I am utilizing my resource of time in a way that reflects my values. Whether it is a date night, a family outing, time for coffee or a walk, I intentionally schedule time for relaxing and connecting with my loved ones.
Tip: As the holidays approach, take time to evaluate your needs, preferences, and hopes for the upcoming weeks. What plan can you put in place to make sure you create the experiences you want? Holidays tend to be anchors to the past, and we come to expect that we will have the same experience year after year whether that has been good or bad. Determine that you can create the experience you want through planning and empowering yourself to do something different than you have done in the past.
- Start by asking yourself what you need from the holidays. It is important to name what you need and gain clarity about what would bring more joy or peace to your holiday season. For example, in the case of overwhelm, you may need time to relax. In the case of loneliness, you may need meaningful contact with supportive others. Avoid thinking about what you wish would stop, but rather think in positive terms of what you want to happen, such as relaxation and meaningful contact.
- Consider how you might set up the circumstances that would enable your needs to be met. For example, if you have children and you need a family gathering to be kid-friendly, you might bring a kid-friendly activity or game to the function. Or if you need privacy and breaks when visiting family out of town, you might consider staying in a hotel or going for walks. Possibly you have been exhausted in the past after cooking, and you long to have more time to connect with family. In this case, you might assign the food preparation to others or invite a helpful family member to help you.
- Next, define your own plans within the context of other's plans based on your need. This may require you to let go of feeling obligated to meet other people's expectations. Don't set others up for your resentment by sacrificing what you want or need, but rather commit only to what allows you to be present and appreciative. For example, your extended family may have activities going all day long or you may have multiple households making requests of you. Taking care of yourself may include being selective about what you participate in and for how long. Carefully considering your schedule puts you in charge of your boundaries and allows you to select those things that provide you with the holiday experiences you desire.
- Finally, create a new tradition or try a new holiday activity that serves the need you assessed. For example, if you experienced a loss, you may feel the need to honor that loss through a creative expression that is meaningful to you, such as music, a craft, or a carefully written Christmas letter or prayer. If intimate connections are what you need, you may want to do something like host a dinner party for a select few guests or attend a holiday program with someone who hasn't been a part of your holiday traditions in the past.
The key is to envision a peaceful and joyful holiday season and decide that you are worthy of that experience. Then get busy planning and creating that experience.
©2018 Laura Aube
Imago Couples or Family Therapy: If you are interested in a private couples or family Imago Therapy session, where clients experience and practice the skills that create happy, connected relationships, call (816) 359-1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be honored to help you on your journey of living from your true self and creating relaxed, joyful relationships.
Laura Aube, LPC, ATR-BC, Certified Imago Therapist
Address: 207 South Washington Street, Raymore, MO 64083
Laura Aube is a licensed Counselor in the State of Missouri. She has advanced training as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, as well as a fully-credentialed Art Therapist. Laura has twenty-five years of experience as a therapist and specialized expertise in grief, trauma, couples, and family therapy.