The holidays are a fun and exciting time for us all. Whether you’re looking forward to the gifts you’ll exchange, quality time with family and friends, or even a little vacation from the day to day, the air surrounding us all has never been filled with more cheer. However, parallel to all this joy and excitement comes the stresses of the holiday season that not many talk about. Gift exchanges, getting away from your regular routine, and well, more quality time with family can all cause a little uneasiness. Practicing the 5 core CASEL competencies to incorporate Social Emotional Learning during the holidays will be sure to make this year unlike the rest! 

With that being said, here are a couple of ways to help you survive the most wonderful time of the year using Social Emotional Learning! 

Self-awareness

Being aware of how you’re feeling through the rush of the holidays is key. Through this very busy time, make sure you are taking time to rest and reset in order to be your best self. Although milk and cookies sound like a treat for more than just St.Nick, make sure you are taking care of your body by continuing to eat healthy and stay active. The best way to keep track of how you’re feeling is to journal before bed. This will not only help you absorb the day you had, but will allow you to reflect on all the things you should be grateful for this holiday season. 

Self-management

With so much to do during this busy time it may get overwhelming. Take action as early as possible and try your best not to procrastinate. Whether it’s putting up decorations, buying gifts, or preparing a meal, doing these with a sense of time and relaxation will make the whole process much more enjoyable. Adjust your expectations and get rid of the perfectionist frame of mind we all tend to carry. Enjoying the dysfunctions of your family, friends, the weather, food, and gifts is all in the holiday spirit and it will be sure to make it a much better season for everyone. 

Social awareness

Just like you may be dealing with stresses of your own, it is important to remember that the people around you may also be feeling the same way. Practicing empathy and understanding for those around you during this very emotional time of the year is essential. By showing concern for the feelings of others and accommodating to their needs, you will make the season much more enjoyable. Being socially aware also includes recognizing the diverse and challenging positions some people are going through during these times. Being compassionate and giving back to those in need within your community is a great way to remember why the holidays are truly important and why you are celebrating. 

Relationship skills

Through communicating effectively and being considerate to those around you, you will be sure to make great plans and memories with the people you choose to share this special time of year with. Seeking or offering support and help will also be a great way to maintain positive relationships throughout the season, as we all know we could use the help! If any problems arise during the holidays be sure to practice teamwork and collaborative problem- solving skills, by resolving conflicts constructively and not instinctually, you will receive the best results. 

Responsible Decision-Making

This is a time where we are all very busy, however, make sure to demonstrate curiosity and  open-mindedness. This could be a great time to meet new people, try new things, and go to new places! With that being said, here is a reminder that it is okay for you to say no to things that you don’t want to participate in. The most important decision you should make this holiday season is to have fun and enjoy! 

The holidays bring up a wide array of emotions, from delicious meals, presents, and the reunion of loved ones, to crying bank accounts, nagging family members, and snow storms, there is just so much to love! Make sure to incorporate Social Emotional Learning into your holiday season this year to enjoy every second of it!   

About Kaitlyn Hall

Kaitlyn works alongside the CEO to help cross functionally provide support and leadership. In this role, Kaitlyn works to help operationally support the organization and ensure we meet each department's goals.

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