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Finding Comfort During Holiday & Social Gatherings

by Pamela Aloia

Many of us deal with social anxiety, social apathy, and social awkwardness whether directly or indirectly, where we are not excited or perhaps even dreading being social for a variety of reasons. While most the information in this article can be applied to any gathering any time of the year, I was compelled to write about the holidays of 2020 with the year being what it has. This list can also be applicable to people experiencing grief too. Here are six ways for us to be more comfortable with holiday or social events from here on out.

1. Acknowledge Connection shifts.

Throughout 2020 there have been several controversial issues arising. We see families divided and friends at odds on views to the point where relationships have changed. Guards may be up more intensely, triggers more readily available, or we may find that we’re more aligned in our mindset than previously anticipated. We need to acknowledge that our connection with people near and dear to us may have shifted. What does that mean for our conversations and our openness? Are we looking forward to being together, or are we wary of the discussions that will ensue? Are we even going to spend time with people we normally spend time with?

Regardlessof  how our relationships have shifted or why, try to find comfort in the evolution of them. Yes, there may be discomfort, anger, resentment, rejection involved, yet there may be comradery, inspiration, sharing, learning, and laughter involved, too. Changes in relationships are natural and expected. Be sure to set time aside to grieve the shift if you’re feeling a loss, or to celebrate the connection with gratitude and other ways that feel right for you.

If you aren’t feeling cozy and warm in your time together with certain people, be sure to make time with people where you do.

2. Set up Support

As we realize that relationships shift over time, know who you can talk to about it if you need to. Ask people to help support you in the moment of a family gathering – whether it’s to maneuver the conversation a certain way to take care of other family members present. If professional help is required in caring for a relative, be sure to set up what you need beforehand.

If you know you use spirits to help you get through the event, be sure to set up an uber or designated driver to take you home. If you may be emotionally affected, drained or frazzled after time at your social event, plan for some down time when you get home, or even schedule a workout or exercise class to work off the emotion. Spend time with your pets to help you unwind from a day or a night out. Schedule energy work with a trusted practitioner or an appointment with your therapist – whatever, it is that helps you feel supported if you find gatherings stressful.

You know what has worked to help support where you are with social gatherings so make it a priority to take care of you as best you can before, during, and after the social gathering by planning for and setting up the support you may need.

3. Know your limits

For some, simply defining parameters of discussion topics and/or activities will be enough. Topics like politics, religion, certain family relationships, or specific aspects about the past could be kept off the table of discussion during the gathering. Make sure these boundaries are known by participating people before getting together. If the parameters cannot be agreed upon then perhaps limit the time you spend at the event or define another plan for yourself.

Some people may be ok starting a conversation and then become uncomfortable with where it may be heading. Asking for the conversation to change or removing oneself from the conversation is appropriate, too. Define where you all will be most comfortable in conversation and activities and stick to them.

Even if the parameters are agreed upon or the boundaries are not honored when together, determine your backup plan before you arrive. Do you plan to redirect the conversation two or three times or the moment a topic is raised is it immediate grounds for you to leave the gathering? Having a plan can help relieve some emotion in the moment for all involved so see what feels best for you.

4. Check your own expectations

Often we attend family gatherings and step back into a family dynamic that may not have shifted in years. We may go with an expectation about how things will go, what moods people will be in, already casting a shadow or perhaps an elevated perception that is unlikely to be met.

Do you know what specific aspects you are expecting from the people you’re gathering with? Are you wanting their approval or acknowledgement? Are you seeking more of a connection than others can give? Are you exuding co-dependent tendencies or inter-dependent ones? Be aware of realistic and unrealistic expectations of the gathering. Check in with your heart before attending and know what it is that you’re bringing to the table in terms of love, compassion, and support.

5. Set a Clear Intention

Once you have identified which expectations of your own you’d like to shift, we can set an intention on how we would like the event to be. We can clear any negative expectations, clear any perceptions of dread, animosity, or resistance to the gathering or people planning to be in attendance. Release any patterned behavior and bring in shifting energies like forgiveness or understanding and acceptance for yourself and others.

Set a clear intention for the highest good of all – perhaps including white light to keep the gathering pure, and intending perfect communication, comradery, laughter, and compassion throughout the duration of the event. Set yourself up with appropriate energies perhaps such as confidence, joy, comfort, and ease.

Be specific with the intention and be sure to ask your angels to provide the intention or something better.  Having multiple people set the intention with you can amplify the results.

6. Enjoy the Moments

You’ve prepped yourself with the above steps, so you should be good to go! Be prepared to shift as you need to based on the flow of energy and how you’re feeling in the moment. Attend the event and enjoy the moments as best you can. Bring your authentic self, be you, be respectful, have fun, be safe within yourself and honor your Light and that of others so you can revel in Joy!.

Pamela Aloia is an energy practitioner and author who has focused the last 20 years on individual and collective energy healing, offering insight for people to enhance life experiences by using practical and heartful aspects. Her latest edition of Nurturing Healthy Change, provides an approach to creating desired change in our lives using focus, feeling, and mindfulness. For more information on Pamela and Nurturing Healthy Change, visit pamelaaloia.com

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