If you’re reading this, I invite you to take a deep breath. The intensity of the holiday season can be overwhelming. Years and years of memories of celebrations and joy and/or pain and isolation past come up as we are reminded by music, cards in the mail, advertisements, and on and on. And as I know as a parent of four children, there are all the things we are supposed to DO. Decorations, gifts, parties, performances, travel.
You don’t have to do it all. You can’t do it all. And it is okay to breathe. It is okay to take breaks. It is okay to reach out for support here at church and elsewhere in your life. It is okay to prioritize taking care of yourself. I found a graphic recently titled “Self-Care for Families.” It’s got self-care suggestions for emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, practical, and social aspects of life. Some are big, for when you have time and energy and self-care is a way to top up an already great day. And some are tiny, for when keeping going till bedtime is all you can imagine being able to handle. You can find a big version here: https://learningworksforkids.com/self-care-for-families/. My holiday wish for you is this: may you breathe deeply, remember you are loved and have love to give, and feel welcome whenever you show up for who you truly are.