Holiday Season Self-Care

While the holiday season is often full of fun gatherings and celebrating, this time of year can also be stressful and overwhelming for many reasons. It is important to be able to acknowledge this fact and then explore ways that can help you navigate through this time of year.

There are many reasons why the holidays might not be the most wonderful time of the year for people. Schedules getting uprooted, numerous social events happening, and the pressure of finding the perfect gift are just a few of them. Because of Covid, many families also grapple with the added worry around how to visit safely with our family and loved ones. It is also not uncommon for the holidays to be a triggering event for people due to trauma they experienced around/during or because of the holidays, and for those remembering the loss of a loved one the holidays can feel empty because that person is gone.

So, how do we best manage the next couple of weeks so that the holiday season doesn’t leave us feeling defeated or depressed? We need to put taking care of ourselves at the top of our Christmas list. Here are just a few ideas for how to do that:

  • Guard your schedule. It’s okay to not attend every single social function that you are invited to – especially this year. With so many trying to “make up” for the holiday experiences they missed out on last year, it seems like everyone is gathering even more. While being with others is fun, it can also be stressful. Be sure to give yourself downtime throughout this busy season so that you don’t feel burned out.
  • Not everyone needs a gift. One of the best things about last holiday season was that we remembered the most important part of the holidays was just being able to be together. Let’s not forget that this year. You don’t need to buy a gift for every single friend, co-worker, or even family member. Let’s remember that the gift of being together is the best gift of all.
  • Don’t feel pressured to attend events that cause you stress versus joy. Not every gathering is healthy, and if you know that there are people attending who might trigger negative reactions within yourself or that the environment might be unhealthy for you, it’s okay to skip it. Family dinner at Christmas or the holiday office party are not the best times to try to unravel hurts or air grievances, but attending these events while trying to keep your emotions suppressed will only cause you more emotional trauma. Choosing to not participate in triggering situations isn’t selfish, it’s practicing self-care.

As the 2021 holiday season is ramping up to its full height, I hope that you give to yourself the same love and support that you are extending to others. Happy Holidays!

Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself

I started this blog as part of the initial set-up for the launch of my consulting career. It was 2019, and the world was a much different place back then. Fast forward to our current time, and I am now refocusing my efforts on building my consulting practice and creating a foundation for growth as 2021 is coming to an end.

When I first began planning for exactly what type of consulting services I wanted to provide, I will admit that I struggled to put together my “elevator pitch.” You might have heard of that reference before – and if we end up working together it is a term that you will definitely become familiar with and have an opportunity to apply to your own life. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase, an elevator pitch or speech is about a thirty second statement that outlines your concept, company, or services you provide in such a way that the listener understands and ideally desires to then learn more about said concept, company, or services. At my first networking event as a consultant, I was less than stellar. I looked the part and had the business cards to pass out, but I struggled to put together an engaging elevator pitch that would open the door for further opportunities. Shortly after that initial event though, the world shut down in an unprecedented way. Once that happened, pursuing my consulting business was at the bottom of my priority list as my focus turned to adjusting to a new normal, keeping loved ones close, staying healthy and safe, and just managing day to day responsibilities in a world that was not making a lot of sense. I believe though, that the time I have spent away from actively building Kimberly Frey Consulting has actually made me more able to understand what services I want to provide and how I want to help my community.

I have been in the teaching profession for twenty years, and I worked with youth in various settings prior to that. The majority of my career has been spent in special education; teaching students with Individualized Education Plans that are designed to help them be as successful as possible in school and have access to an equitable education. During this time, the majority of my students have been those with learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities, mental illnesses, and/or on the autism spectrum. When people outside of the special education field think of individuals with disabilities, they often picture students with physical or cognitive disabilities and lack an awareness of how other disabilities can impact a person’s life in both school and beyond. After having time to thoroughly assess what I wanted to offer others, I realized that success in the “beyond” years of life was exactly where I wanted to focus. The students I have been working with for over two decades are adults now, and they are navigating their post-secondary lives. College, careers, relationships, self-care and more – these are all areas where many adults still need guidance and support. A common sentiment shared by so many today is that, “Adulting is hard.” As a consultant, my goal is to make it a little easier. Additionally, I want to support adults who are now navigating their own children’s educational needs, as the special education system can be difficult to understand. Lastly, as my former students are making their way in the workplace and business world, I want to ensure that their employers understand that ADA compliance is so much more than creating physically accessible spaces.

So, here you go. Two years later, I finally have created my elevator pitch….. Kimberly Frey Consulting: I provide executive functioning and life balance coaching for individuals 18 and up, support for families of students with disabilities navigating the education system, and inclusivity coaching for workplaces. I will be offering various workshops over the next couple of months designed to help usher in a new year that is full of growth and success. Contact me for more information on how I Can Help!