Prioritize Growth throughout the Year
As the holiday season approaches, I know that some of us are so excited and some of us are dreading the holiday cheer due to sadness, feeling like we don’t have people to spend it with, work, a challenging year for us all, experiencing loss, or just about everything. As I write in my third book An Uncompromised Life, I chose to let my child go within six days of my first missed period in December 2019. So, trust me, I get it that the holidays can bring up a lot for you! So, what can we do during these last few weeks of the year to prioritize growth and mental wellness during the holiday season?
First, don’t get lost in trying to buy the perfect gift to impress the perfect person.
The holiday season has been so warped that now we need to get each other gifts as this act of appreciation to show we care or are thinking of someone. Instead, think about what experience or memory you can create, offer or plan that will be something you and the people you care about will remember forever.
Maybe add playing “Apples to Apples” as a holiday after dinner game, Christmas caroling together or volunteering time at a charity your family is passionate about. Think of doing something outside of just giving gifts by providing an experience that your family will have as a memory to cherish.
This will take the stress off buying the perfect gift and instead begin to allow you to tap into your creative nature while reflecting what is important to the people you love the most, and offering that as an experience together instead of a gift that usually doesn’t last a lifetime.
Second, make sure during this holiday time you have at least one friend or a community that you are able to join up with during the weeks, whether that be online or in person.
However, make sure if it’s church, video games, healing community, blogger community, coffee group, or any group–that there is some community you find near your or online that you show up to! Because there is nothing worse than feeling like we have all this time off and there is nowhere you can go or nothing you can do to keep consistent with your passions or begin to emerge yourself in environments around people with whom you share passions. Things like online yoga classes, book clubs and travel groups on Facebook have left me feeling really supported during this time of year.
Finally, this time of year, take time to define your passions more clearly and find ways you can be doing them more consistently. I highly recommend this as when we begin to see what our passions are, we allow our mind to focus on how we can begin to create space to do them more consistently. We will become happier–especially during this time of the year.
Third, prioritize your growth by looking back on your year.
It’s important to take time to reflect and see what you loved about your year, what you didn’t love, what could have been better, and where you want to be in the next 12 months through 2022. During the holidays also make sure to have some solitude time instead of running around for everything and everybody to be perfect.
For me, I usually prioritize either November or December as the month I will be providing the experience for the holidays with my friends, and the other one, I do more solo as someone who shows up as a participant. And instead, I take this time to reflect on my year. I go month by month reviewing my calendar and photos in my phone to remind me what I did and to reflect on how I felt when doing each of those things.
And if I did anything that didn’t feel great, I see how I can remove it in 2022 and begin to replace it with something that makes me happy! This is really the process of how I began my business, Colleen Gallagher International, in 2017.
Fourth, be in a state of acceptance that feeling not happy all the time during the holidays is okay.
It is okay to be sad, to not want to buy all the gifts but instead stay home alone watching television. It’s okay to say no to parties you just don’t want to be at with no explanation. If you’re sad and want to visit the graveyard of someone who passes it’s okay! The most important practice in prioritizing our growth and mental wellness during this time is to be in an acceptance of ALL that we are feeling instead of fighting what we are feeling, trying to numb our feelings or needing to understand why these feelings are arising now.
Instead, when you feel like you’re experiencing challenging emotions during the holidays repeat simple mantras like the following.
- I accept myself.
- I accept all my feeling.
- I no longer need to understand my feelings- I simply accept them and feel them.
- I love myself.
- I allow myself to feel what needs to be felt so I can return to a state of harmony and peace.
These simple mantras will support you in realigning your mind, body and soul to feel well and experience growth instead of looping within negative thought formations.
Lastly, I recommend listening to podcasts.
Of course, I recommend my own podcast, The Colleen Gallagher Podcast, or others that are focused on growth and healing during this time of the year. This will support you in feeling not alone as there are other people out there who have struggled with what you’re going through and found healthy ways to cope.
When we listen to podcasts that focus on growth instead of just holiday cheer or paradise, it allows us to refocus on where we want to go, instead of dwelling on what we don’t have today or how our holidays aren’t how we want to remember it this year. When we listen to the news, radio, podcasts or even music, it is either always supporting us for future growth or keeping us stuck in the current moment of why we don’t have what we want. These are the two states of being- expansion and contraction.
This holiday season, fill your life with being in an expansive state instead of contractive so you can focus your life on where you want to go, with people who are already living the life you want.
Colleen Gallagher is an intuitive business and personal development consultant. She has survived childhood cancer, is a global citizen, an advocate for everyone to have an opportunity to live their dreams and an academic who is currently pursuing her Ph.D is Psychology with a focus on Global Leadership and Change. She is an author of multiple books, including her latest release An Uncompromised Life, and the host of The Colleen Gallagher podcast. Her greatest success is seeing her clients fall in love with life by overcoming trauma and life challenges and create a lifestyle career that impacts the world. Colleen empowers leaders and businesses to come to a newfound clarity of their mission, so that they can better understand their gifts while taking calculated action to grow their businesses. Colleen offers these experiences through online courses, in-person retreats, her podcast, books and products. Currently, Colleen resides in Los Angeles, California.