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  • Michelle Kitsmiller

It's o.k. to want space...even around the holidays!

It's the holiday season (for many of us). Often, this time of year involves excitement, anticipation, packed schedules, and sometimes anxiety. If we are lucky, we have families that want to be with us (even if that sometimes comes with its own set of issues...ha). In fact, there's a lot of expectation around the holidays that we share togetherness in a very specific way. Those of us with many different branches of family can feel like we are stretched thin. And then there's all the people that we genuinely want to see on top of that, our friends, colleagues, people in town visiting, etc. In short, it can feel like a LOT of togetherness.

So today I want to talk about, and validate, the need to take space for ourselves. Some of us need significant amounts of alone time in order to replenish our energy stores. Others...not so much. But wherever we fall on the spectrum, it's important to listen when our inner voice tells us it's time for quiet, for time away from others, for time in which the the only needs that you are going to meet are your own. This voice is our spirit asking for attention and likely, some form of nourishment. And actually, we don't know exactly what it's asking for until there is enough space and quiet for us to hear it. It's just too easy for the voice to get drowned out by the engagements, obligations, family patterns, work, and daily life. We go and go and go and then....we crash. In a word, space and time alone can be vital to our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is not something to feel ashamed about. It is not selfish. Period.

Of course we want to help fill the proverbial cups of our family and friends, and connecting with others is also important for our own capacity for living a healthy, happy life (at least, when those others are supportive, reciprocal, and caring individuals). But our own needs also require tending (perhaps even especially require tending?) during this hectic time that potentially involves lots of togetherness.

When you feel the call to tend to yourself, when that small voice whispers that it needs peace and quiet and space--I urge you to listen, and then act without apology!


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