Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Put the Happy Back in the Holidays

The holidays are a very busy time for so many of us. There are family gatherings, events, shopping, many of which are based on tradition or expectations. Sometimes with all of the running from one thing to the next and the long to-do lists we lose sight of what we truly value or enjoy in the holiday season.
So this holiday season I am going to challenge you to reevaluate where you invest your time to determine what’s really valuable to you. A good question to ask yourself is “does this fill me up?” or “does this bring me joy?”. Sometimes we find ourselves doing things because they are expected of us or this is the way we have always done it, but does it fill you up? If not, stop doing it. If running to 3 different family gatherings in one day to celebrate feels more like a race or a chore than a celebration then stop doing it. Plan family gatherings that are spaced out over several weekends so the pace is slower and you can actually have time to connect with those family members. If getting up at 4am and cooking a 5 course meal is exhausting and does not bring you joy, stop doing it. Consider picking up a turkey and sides from a local grocery store or going out to eat.
What all of this comes down to is determining what you value most about the holidays and finding ways to focus on that and eliminating barriers that get in the way. If spending time with family is what you value but spending the whole day cooking and doing dishes gets in the way of that, stop cooking and doing dishes, find alternatives. Just because you have always done it that way doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way. If gift buying and giving creates a financial strain and takes away from the occasion, stop doing it. Find alternatives such as making homemade gifts from supplies you already have or decide to do an activity together as a family. I know a family who gives verbal gifts. They gather around and instead of opening gifts they share things they love about each other or ways that the people in their lives have filled them up that year. Discard the traditions and expectations that working for you anymore and make new ones!

Make the holidays about what fills you up. What brings you joy? 

 Kaitlyn Gitter is a Licensed Professional Counselor who strives to help people find inner peace and healing.  She provides client centered counseling services to children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults.  She values the human connection and creating a safe space for exploration, learning, and growth.  Kaitlyn obtained her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from The Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. She has extensive experience working with individuals struggling with eating disorders, self-esteem, and body image issues. She also has a particular passion for working with adolescents and young adults. Other areas of interest include grief and loss, anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavior issues, parent/child relationships, and family systems.

Kaitlyn utilizes several therapeutic approaches but specializes in Internal Family Systems Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She often incorporates relaxation and mindfulness techniques into sessions. In her work with children she frequently integrates play therapy and artistic expression to encourage healthy emotion regulation and communication.  In her free time Kaitlyn enjoys running, traveling, camping, and gardening. Kaitlyn believes that happiness is something you create and every individual has the power to make positive change in their life. She is here as a partner on your path to creating happiness and peace.

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