Working Through Holiday FUNCK

Working Through Holiday FUNCK - BeMo Journal

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Well, maybe not for you, or not at this moment. I get it. The holidays can be a mixed bag of toils or treasures. So, let’s work through that FUNCK and focus more on the right kind of PRESENCE this holiday season.

Holiday Journal Prompts:

  • When you think about the holidays, what is a memory that immediately comes to mind? Brain dump this and then work through the FUNCK.
  • What do the feelings of Comfort & Joy bring up for you? Are you able to feel comfortable with feelings of joy, or do happy times feel threatening? 5 Whys this and work through the FUNCK.
  • What are your hopes and worries for the approaching New Year? Cycle through BeMo Extras of – What If’s (Designated Worry Time) and Imagined Future.
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed with plans, responsibilities, and expectations? Focus on an “I Get To” practice of enoughness.

You can find details on each of these BeMo practices in the front of your BeMo Basic Journal or your handy-dandy BeMo Pocket Guide.

Your BeMo practice is exposure therapy to emotions that are difficult to feel. During the holiday says, sometimes feeling and trusting happiness, joy, and excitement are the most difficult feelings to feel. If you find yourself prone to stressful fights, mean comments, self-doubt, and internal arguments on days you gaslight yourself into believing you are “meant” for feasting, friends, and family, don’t just bash yourself into “needing” to be happy (we’ll discuss those tricky needs in an upcoming blog post), create a safe space to feel comfort IN joy.  

Yes, you read that right. I’m rewriting the song lyrics.

Now they’re going to go more like this:

Be willing to rest, ye merry gentle person

Let nothing get in the way

Remember to BeMo about it

Especially through holidays

To save yourself from feeling overpowered

When things are in disarray

Oh, tidings of comfort in joy

Comfort in joy

Oh, tidings of feeling comfortable in your joooooooy

In misfortunate seriousness, I know from first-hand experience how this can be a time of year that reminds you primarily of what you do not have – the people who are no longer with you, the ones you do not want to be around or can’t be around and want to, the home you no longer have, the money you don’t have to spend, the gifts you don’t have to give, the relationships that fell apart just after decorations came together.

I also know how this can be when you finally feel like you have a world you can trust, a family you can spend the season with, and all the warmth of the perfect hygge season, only to fall to pieces over the anticipation of when the magical bubble will burst.

Maybe you take a perfectly happy moment and pop that magical bubble yourself, starting arguments and fights in moments of great love and expectations for no other reason than being able to predict disappointment.

Maybe you start the season on a high of cherished love and gratitude. Still, the closer it gets to being over, the more terrified you feel. You begin to act out undealt with disappointments and abandonment cycles by the familiar, fleeting feeling that nothing gold can stay.

Whatever your reason, ’tis the season to work through holiday FUNCK.

Brain Dump

As always, Step 1 is to pick the topic to free-write. Choose one of the journal prompts above OR start with the story behind what leaves you feeling so much right now. What is it that you have been avoiding saying or thinking? Or what is that keeps disrupting your ability to think about anything else? Start there. Write at least one page as a brain dump exercise before moving through the FUNCK portion of the BeMo practice. 

FUNCK

Below is a real-life example of holiday FUNCK being dealt with by a BeMo journaler. This journaler has privately shared their worry, overwhelm, and experience in a BeMo journal brain dump and talking session with me. I will summarize the problem statement from the Brain Dump: “The holidays have always been very dramatic for me. I don’t want to do it. This person isn’t going to have the holidays they had planned on – feeling the weight of change (even when chosen and looked forward to), impending loss, change in who will be at their table this time of year, and stress about the upcoming new year seeming more unknowns than usual. I don’t want to shop for it. I don’t want to buy gifts for people. I don’t want to open them. I don’t want to have to go shopping and have to go to dinners and have to have to. I want to eat my treats, stay in my pajamas, and act like it will all be ok.”

Let’s work through it with this journaler. 

For privacy, we have left certain situations as vague as possible. Please feel free to be particular and blunt on your pages. Remember, you can do as much or as little as you feel in the moment. There are days where one sentence will suffice and other days where you feel your way through an entire page of just the “F” part of FUNCK.

F

I feel sad because Christmas won’t be the same this year without having us all together. I feel stressed because things are more expensive than ever, and I don’t have the income I used to. I feel discouraged, down, and a little hopeless because nothing about the Christmas season resonates the same with me this year, and I don’t know why it feels so much more empty and stressful than it used to.

BeMo Advice: Now is an excellent time to choose the BeMo Extra topics that will serve you. Now would be an ideal time to do a 5 Whys exercise to dig into why the feeling of absence is present or to add an I Get To practice to find the positives, enoughness, and joy that you may be missing in what otherwise feels stressful or monotonous.

U

Oh my goodness! I’ve been there. I get it. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You are going to be ok. You are usually so full of Christmas spirit, so this hurts me for you. But it won’t be gone forever. It’s going to be ok. Please let me know if you need anything to help support you. These really sound like tough times.

BeMo Advice: What a good best friend! This note isn’t cliche and isn’t overtaking the narrative. This internal You Note helps you feel seen, heard, and understood. By making the You Note here, you can better formulate your Needs without getting lost in turning “Needs” into a “To Do” list. Approaching Needs outside of yourself after feeling your feelings allows you to find the need that will soothe you at this moment rather than step into a shame-blame cycle or gaslight yourself with statements like “I need to do more…”.

Briefly looking over how this journaler felt and how her internal BFF felt for them, it was easier to look at the BeMo Journal Needs Wheel and determine what need would soothe the situation. Having the privilege of seeing this journaler’s work, it is great that they quickly jot down their feelings noted from above in the sidebar of their journal (sad, stressed, discouraged, down, hopeless, and confused). Revisiting the feelings helped them determine the best need to feel ok with where they are now.

N

I need to feel welcomed, cared for, cuddled, and understood to feel safe and soothed at this moment. I need to feel connected to my family and the season.

C

I can ask my husband to be quiet, caring, and affectionate with me to meet my needs. I can tell him that I need to feel my feelings and be held for a moment with our decorations and Christmas lights all around us. I can go for a brisk, Wintery walk with my dog and practice mindfulness with the sights, smells, feelings, tastes, and sounds of the season. I can bake cookies with my daughter. I can ask my husband to plan something fun for us, like Christmas lights, because it would be nice to feel surprised. I can write about my Christmas experiences and memories in my BeMo journal and approach it from a renurturing mindset. I can allow my inner child to celebrate the season like a little kid!

BS (Belief System) checker:

I care about providing the best holiday season for my little one, regardless of how I feel. 

Sometimes I feel like it is my role and responsibility in the family to provide happiness, and I know this comes from feelings of neglect from my childhood.  That is BS!  However, I do genuinely care about my family and want to show up for them securely, without the holiday drama and emotional responsibility I had when I was little.

K

I know it is ok to have bad days, even if it seems to last for a long time. I know I will be ok because I’ve been off during the holidays before, and it wasn’t always or forever; I survived it and still made some memories. I know that I have had a lot of experiences with the holidays coming up for me this year. It is ok to let myself see them, feel them, and sit with them because I have the safety of being able to write about them, recognize where I am with them, and work through them in my own time.

BeMo Extra: I Get To

I get to decorate every room of my house with a tree, a garland, a wreath, or lights because I love that sparkle and glow of the season and how much happiness it brings to my daughter.

I get to stay in my pajamas all day whenever I choose to, even if I’m out running errands, and that is ok.

I get to eat whatever I want during this season because I know that I will not overdo it; I have all the knowledge I need to take care of my mind, body, and spirit, whether or not it is the cookie-eating season!

I get to go shopping and buy gifts for people I love, even if it seems stressful right now; the truth is that I get to love and be loved by some of the most incredible people, and I feel incredibly blessed.

I get to choose to support small businesses and go to their stores, see the joy on their faces, and share the holidays with people who also need support and are doing their best this time of year.

Positives

I feel so much better after working through this. I know that the problems haven’t disappeared. Still, I have a feeling of hope now and a perspective on the holidays that will give me the safety I need to do the work to allow myself to sit with memories and feelings associated with the holidays.

I allowed myself to rest today because I knew I needed a break, and I didn’t try to push myself through any seasonal errands to allow myself the space to understand my needs and work through this.

I took time for self-care today but didn’t beat myself up when I chose to eat differently than I usually do.

I decided to turn off my alarm clocks for the week and recognize my choices every day in how I greet the day.

I took off my shoes and stood outside for a long 10 or 15 minutes, grounding myself in the earth and appreciating the energy I received back from mother nature and the coolness of the season. This really helped me connect with the season in a loving way.

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