Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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November is over, and there is a lot to be grateful for. There were also many stressors.
Let's take a moment to let both be true and acknowledge all of the feelings we experienced this November. Make space for your frustration, elation, anger, sadness, and joy. They all have a home within you, and your inner experience is valid, no matter what is happening or how tumultuous it may seem.
Your feelings are valid.
December is in full swing as communities across the nation and the world rejoice in the holidays. But let's not let the festive atmosphere rope us into toxic positivity. It's okay to feel negative emotions during December and acknowledge that others may be feeling down, too. This month, be sure to manage your stress and accept your inner experience without judgment.
The Stress of Elections
As election results poured in, the end of November was stressful for many Americans. Abortion protections (and the removal of them) were on the ballot in many states. And when your rights are on the line, it's understandable to feel nervous.
If you're not registered to vote and you can, I urge you to do so. A lot of people don't vote because they feel like their voice doesn't matter--but your voice does matter, and your vote does have an impact.
If you find election season especially overwhelming, then I urge you to practice radical acceptance and empower yourself. Essentially, this advice boils down to embracing this statement: "I accept what I cannot control, and I acknowledge what I can control."
We can't change the outcomes of the election. But we can vote, we can campaign, we can talk to our loved ones, and we can encourage others to vote. It's possible that you are more powerful than you may realize. Consider that when we become so focused on the things we cannot change, we lose sight of the power we do have.
Managing Stress is Not Optional, It's Essential
If you're holding onto guilt or shame, let it go. You are allowed to rest and take breaks. If fact, you have to.
Between the stress of elections, travel, work, the holidays, and whatever else is happening in your personal life, taking breaks, resting, and recovering are your lifelines.
But, it's common to feel guilt or shame when we tell ourselves that we "should" be doing something else. This is your sign to stop "shoulding" yourself, notice any guilt or shame that you carry, and remind yourself that you matter, too. Your rest matters.
See if you can shift that inner voice from "I should buy gifts" to "I want to buy gifts" and notice what changes. What does changing "I should make dinner" to "I need to make dinner" do for you? Instead of saying, "I should get off the couch," tell yourself, "I will get up after this episode," and notice if that guilt and shame start to fade away.
Sometimes, being kind to ourselves doesn't come as naturally as being kind to others. Let's change that, together.
Trauma-Informed Spotlight: Corey Best
For me to truly live healthier, I cannot compare myself to another. I must compare myself to myself and do one thing different daily to get better.
Corey Best is a community curator and the founder of Mining for Gold. He won the 2021 Champion for Children’s Award in Advancing Equity and has dedicated his life to improving outcomes for others, especially disadvantaged youth.
The work he does involves adaptive leadership training, systems building, authentic family engagement, racial justice, promoting protective factors, social equality, and highlighting “good enough parenting” for those impacted by the child welfare system.
Corey Best is a leader who is doing the work to create the racially just, equitable, and trauma-informed culture we need and want.
Thank you for taking another step on your trauma-informed journey. You are doing the work and helping change outcomes for yourself and others, and I applaud you for that! Don't stop now.
There are plenty of free resources for you to continue your journey. And, if you share them with others, they might help them, too!
A Guide to Trauma-Informed Implementation
The Self-Care Planning Kit
Your Emergency Safety Plan
Be sure to keep an eye on The Art of Trauma-Informed, Chefalo Consulting's trauma-informed blog. We release new content every week! In November, we discussed:
The Complete Guide to Trauma-Informed Values
The Complete Guide to Self-Awareness
The Intersection of the Social Determinants of Health and Trauma-Informed Care
The Four Pillars of Emotional Intelligence
Empathy is a Professional Superpower
Intentional Conversations are still happening, but they end soon! Our last session will take place on Monday, December 12. Please stop by to take advantage of this free opportunity while you still can!
Intentional Conversations are hour-long networking sessions facilitated by a trauma-informed specialist. Get your link and reserve your seat here. Sessions are live every Monday at 12 PM EST.