Social Wellness During the Holidays

The holidays.

When you read these two words, what comes to mind?

For me, I think about time with family, candlelight church services, music, fireplaces, hot cocoa and apple cider, delicious food and presents. From October through December, it feels like the whole world turns into a cheerful holiday village. This is a good thing! It is wonderful to reconnect with loved ones. 

My full-time job is in philanthropy. This is the highest period of individual donations each year. Sure, people may be sending off their last checks to make the tax deadline for charitable contributions, but I would venture to say that most people make gifts from the goodness of their heart. Ending one year and heading into another revives one’s appreciation for their blessings and inspires sharing.

But similar to Newton’s Third Law, for every ounce to goodness that the holidays bring, there can be — and actually is for some — and equal and opposite effect that can wound the psyche.

From gratitude to grief and love to loneliness, this time of year can stir up feelings you didn’t know you had. As if managing your own self-talk doesn’t take enough effort, the holidays add an extra dose of time to practice habits for wellness 🙃 There’s nothing like walking into your 5th family gathering for the weekend and being met with the question: “So you’re still not married?”

The “wow, you’ve gained/lost weight” comments are always fun.

Also, some folks may get a kick out of making 15 cents stretch into a dollar to buy 50 million gifts that people — adults and children alike — will use one time and put to the side, but that’s not my source of joy.

Part of intentional living is preparation. Going with the flow during a busy season can cause immense stress. I designed the “Pre-Holiday Wellness Boost Workbook” to help Mahogany Manifesto’s email subscribers stay a step ahead. With Social, Emotional and Financial Wellness being the most fragile, the worksheets concentrate on those three areas.

To accompany the workbook, I’ll be adding resources to a new board on Mahogany Manifesto’s Pinterest page called “Holiday Wellness.” Access it here (and click follow 🙌🏽): https://pin.it/5mfIk45.

Once on the board, you’ll find a pin near the top that will take you to a Therapy for Black Girls podcast episode called “The Gift of Boundaries.” I’m going to listen to it again myself this week because the host offers so many helpful tips and reminders. Life during the holidays doesn’t always look and feel like the warm and bright family gatherings we see in winter commercials. Maintaining and amplifying Social Wellness can be tricky tasks, but it’s worth the effort.

Get started on your workbook this week and listen to the podcast.

Let’s connect via Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/mahoganymanifesto/) to share thoughts and ideas!

If you missed the initial release of the workbook, no worries! Just sign up for Mahogany Manifesto’s e-newsletter at the bottom of this page and it will come to your inbox as part of the welcome email!

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