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Some of the big holidays have passed, and some more are coming up! So, how are you feeling about this season? For a lot of us, it can be a super fun, exciting time! But for others, this can be a time filled with stress and anxiety. For today, we’re talking to the latter group.

No matter where our brain is in terms of development, though, we can all benefit from these strategies to set up our holidays for success:

  1. Set your intention! This has been scientifically proven to change the frequency of your brain waves to accomplish what you set your mind to. So, every evening, set your intention for how your holiday plans for the next day will go. Decide to have positive interactions with everyone. Decide to have fun and reconnect with people you might be feeling a bit estranged from. Decide that the family member who you have a tough time with is going to be in the best mood and you’re all going to get along great! Decide that everything will flow without stress. Repeat this in the morning and expect to see what you want to see.
  2. Visualize what your day will look like! This goes hand in hand with your intention, but we want to make a separate point of it because it’s super important! Check out this podcast for some awesome science behind the power of visualization. The brain loves to know what’s coming – especially if it’s a brain that tends to get anxious about upcoming changes/transitions/events. Get ahead of it by visualizing how your day will go. Think about the places you’ll go, the people you’ll see, and the behaviors you’ll exhibit in each part of your day. This is an awesome tool to help set kids up for success, too. Ask them questions about situations that you know might be challenging for them: if you don’t like what’s on your plate, are you going to throw it on the ground or just eat the stuff you do like? If you have to share your new gift with your cousin, are you going to say no and hit them, or are you going to share and be patient?
  3. Hold space for others. Yup, we know it’s hard. We know it feels like Aunt Kiki is just always out to get you, and Uncle Bob is just so annoying when he talks about politics! We’re here to say we totally get it – but, let’s shift it this time. Keep in mind that we only have control over ourselves. We invite you to hold space in your mind for the people with who you might have a difficult relationship, the people with who you sometimes disagree or get into arguments. Why? Because everyone has their struggles. Everyone has something that they’re working on, and we don’t always know the full story. So, rather than jump into the same dynamics, let’s shift them!
  4. Brain Hook-ups. OK – you’ve set your intention, you’ve visualized, you’re holding space for the difficult relationships in your life. But someone brought up some stuff and then someone else got really upset and then the kids started fighting and BOOM! You’re triggered! It happens, and here’s what you can do to feel better in that moment:
    1. Remove yourself from the situation (go to the bathroom, go outside, anywhere you can be alone for just a little bit)
    2. Do a brain hook-up  (picture below) – this simple Brain Gym movement helps to calm your central nervous system quickly so you can get back into your Cortex and back to operating from a place of logic.


Brain Hook-up

And last, number 5: 


Let go!

You’ve done what you can and you’re working hard to make this an awesome holiday season. Remember to be kind to yourself! Whatever happens, will happen, so relieve yourself of the pressure to have everything be perfect. Enjoy the good parts and say bye to the not-so-good parts of this holiday season, and get ready for an amazing 2022!