Surviving (Thriving) the Holidays

So, what are the down and dirty secrets to not just surviving but thriving during challenging times?

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(continued from the Resilience Rise and Shine December newsletter)

So, what are the down and dirty secrets to not just surviving but thriving during challenging times?

The answer to this question may be a little different for each of us, but there are some common things we can all do that are tried and true no matter how unique we may believe ourselves to be.  There are the usual common things, like don’t eat too much crap, get some excise, get enough sleep, stay away from alcohol and drugs, etc.  This time of year, you can find a list like this in nearly every newsletter, woman’s magazine, and web advertisement.  So if we do those things we can keep our head above water. That’s called “surviving.”  But how can we “thrive?”  How can we use those challenging situations to actually build endurance, strength of character, develop insight and improve our attitude toward adversity? That’s whole difference level of being.

We start by doing the usual things listed above so our head will be above water.  Then the real work starts. The first tip is to not see it as “work.”  Let’s not make it harder than it needs to be.  Let’s see it as an opportunity to rise to a new level of maturity.

The next tip is to realize that all the trauma and drama is not “out there” so much as it is “in here.”  This has been a hard one for me to deal with. It’s been much easier for me to see faults in others and blame them for my unhappiness. There is usually enough evidence to make this stance credible.  So-in-so maybe self-centered and selfish; Lots of things are “unfair;” The weather may be nasty. That’s the evidence I use to prove that I’m OK and my unhappiness is caused by “them out there.” I can’t fix those things. It’s not even my job to fix them. It is my job to respond the them in ways that can strengthen me.  But where to start?

When I suggested above that we not think of this as work I didn’t mean to imply that it would be easy. But when you think about it, some of the things we do for fun are not easy. They are often hard to do and once we accomplish them we feel proud of ourselves. This is the way we can look at the challenges involved in thriving. Let’s try to stay in that frame of mind.

The next part is  being conscious of our thoughts.  Here’s a saying that may help us stay connected to ourselves and open to selecting new options that lead in the “thrive direction.”

Watch your thoughts; for they become words.
Watch your words; for they become actions.
Watch your actions; for they become habits.
Watch your habits; for they become character.
Watch your character for it will become your destiny.
Frank Outlaw

So let’s stay connected during the Holidays.  if any of you need support, add your comments and requests to this blog and the rest of us will be there for you.  Take care and best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

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