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Don't Perfectionism-ize your Rest this Holiday Season

I want to say something meaningful and compassionate about our mental health, disengaging from perfectionism, and finding joy around the holiday season, especially as we go through holiday season #2 under a global pandemic.

But honestly, my heart, mind, and body are really tender. I’m worn out.

And I don’t think I have anything new to say about resetting our expectations, boundaries, and relationship with the holidays that hasn’t been said on Instagram in a nicely-organized infographic, likely written by a therapist.

If that kind of writing would be supportive for you right now, here are three that have supported me:

Here’s what I have to offer – holidays come and go but your relationship with yourself, your mental health, and your joy are important every day of your life.

You deserve rest, joy, community, relationships, and space to be your human self no matter what. Unfortunately, during the most “wonderful time of year” that is often harder to access. That’s not your fault. You’re not doing something wrong. You’re one human navigating a perfectionistic, capitalistic society in a pandemic.

My invitation for you is to not “perfectionism-ize” your rest, joy, and boundary-setting this holiday season (or ever, but let’s start with these last few days of 2021).

What does that mean? To not “perfectionism-ize” something? It is my word I came up with to describe the reality that perfectionism, criticism, and hyper-productivity can very much still creep in even in our process of being more self compassionate, disengaging from perfectionism, and resting more.

Another way to think of it is the saying that resting when you’re criticizing yourself for resting isn’t really restful. Disengaging from perfectionism when you’re still judging yourself for how “good” or “productively” you’re disengaging from perfectionism is still perfectionism.

Again–not your fault. It just speaks to how deeply entrenched our perfectionism and productivity mindsets are. There is no checklist or correct path to disengaging from perfectionism and reclaiming your weird, wild, wonderful humanity.

This holiday season, as you hopefully find some big or small ways to invite in more rest, play, and validation of your current needs and boundaries – notice if critical self talk is still coming up while you’re doing these things.

Use that as a cue to gently lean into more self-compassion.

Tend to a physical need you have (water, bathroom, food, sleep, joy, connection, feeling an emotion, mindlessly scrolling TikTok).

Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with the capacity you have in the current moment, which will fluctuate because you are a human with ever-changing needs and feelings.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Remember you deserve rest and joy no matter what you get done.

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