Nov. 22, 2021

How to get mentally & emotionally prepared for the holidays with family

How to get mentally & emotionally prepared for the holidays with family

Hey military-sister, 

Are you ready for the holidays and possibly even traveling?! 

Or better yet, have you taken the time to get mentally and emotionally prepared to spend time with your family... 

In today's episode, I share how you can begin preparing yourself regardless of whether you are traveling or staying local to help you minimize overwhelm.

I pray this episode blesses you and helps you be intentional during the holidays!

Much love, 

🔗 Find everything mentioned in today’s episode in the extended show notes at

Join us in the Facebook Faith-led Military Women Community at 

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Download my free Masterclass at


Hey SIS. Welcome to beyond the military podcast. Where faith led military women overcome burnout and create more balance. Just imagine having enough time to focus on your faith family and have more fun while still serving as a woman leader in this podcast, you will walk away with the tools to help navigate the busy life of a military woman. Organize your mind. Overcome overwhelm, create a prioritization playbook, balanced blueprint for integrating. Family in Korea yeses in that order. Hi, I'm Wendi Wray, awoman of God, wife mama of two army veteran and certified life coach. I'm here to help you create a life of meaning outside of the military, a life of laughter joy and intentional time. If you are ready to overcome burnout and create balance as a fate led melter and woman Sis,, this podcast is for you. So loosen up your laces and grabbed coffee because it's time to step into freedom. Yes. Hello, happy Monday, everyone. And welcome to episode number 46. So today, we're going to talk about how to get mentally and emotionally prepared for the holidays. And this is either if you're going to spend the holidays alone or with family or traveling, or if you're staying local, it really just applies to both. And I wanted to touch on both because this is what I've been doing this past week. I've been mentally preparing myself for. The overwhelming things that are going to be readily available in all the stores. And also all the questions that come with, you know, what are you guys doing? And you know, where are you going? Will you be here? Or, you know, what are the plans like all these things that come up or are these questions that come up, not only for Thanksgiving, but for also, you know, the Christmas break, which of course it's. Uh, a good question to be asking and a great question to answer, right? Because that is coming up and there's nothing wrong with that. I think that every year is going to be different. And of course we've all experienced 20, 20 COVID and I don't know what you guys, but we stayed home. We didn't go to anyone's house. Um, during the holidays last year. This year is going to be a little different, right? And I think that we're all eager. We're all excited to be around family. And that's a great thing. And at the same time, considering that it's going to be a little different, right? The conversation is maybe a little different, um, especially if you are traveling, right? So again, this is for anyone that is traveling as well as saying. Because the questions will still be there. Right. So, um, just for example, you know, one of my clients is not going anywhere. And one of the question that, um, her family is asking is, well, why aren't you come in? You know, we're only, I think it's like six hours away and you know, you can make it and she just doesn't want to deal with the logistics of it. That is the truth. And that is completely okay. So if that is you, you are wanting to stay. Right where you are, where you're stationed and you don't want to go through the hassle of booking a flight or going through the whole airline experience, you know, traveling with kids, whatever it may be. And honestly, you don't have to have a quote unquote, um, a reasonable reason for you to just wanting to do. Be alone for the holidays, but I think it sometimes can become difficult to tell others, especially your family members that want you to be there that really have this expectation of having you around for the holidays. Even though last year, most of us, like I said earlier, spent the holidays alone, right? Either you as an individual or with your family, if you're married, If you have kids, if you're a single mother, I mean, most of us did. So I think now we're all in this mindset of, well, we're all getting vaccinated or we've been vaccinated. Like what's the big deal or whatever it may be. So we should be together. Right? Like that's the expectation, which again, it's completely okay. It's their opinion. It's what they expect of, you know, family to be together, which is a great thing. But also acknowledging that your decision. Is also important. It's also something that you want to value and you want to be able to own it, your decision, right? Because some of us just don't want to deal with the logistics. Right. I mean, I, um, my family and I were going. To go to my in-laws now my in-laws sorry, my brother-in-law and his wife's house. Um, and it's, uh, about five and a half, six hour drive, which it's not that big of a deal, but we're like, you know what? We want to go visit them where we're doing it. And we just want to spend time with them. And again, it's something that I have to get mentally prepared, right. Because one, we're traveling with kids and we have to. Because we have two dogs and we have to coordinate their logistics on, you know, are they going to stay home? Are they going to go to the kennel? Long story short. We've already hashed all of that out, so we're we're ready. But also then comes the second part of, you know, the emotional aspect, right? Like how do I want to feel? I don't want to travel and feel obligated to go somewhere or feel as. Um, it's something that I have to do because you know, it's an expectation, right? Like, no, I want to feel grateful that I have this opportunity to be around family people that I love people that I appreciate people that I just want to be around with. Right. And I think that that's something that my husband and I were talking about recently. And again, another reason why I wanted to record this podcast, like how do we get mentally and emotionally prepared, especially with. We don't like to travel a lot. It's not our thing. And it's hard sometimes for other people to accept that it's hard for our family, our friends, when they invite us or, you know, they just question, you know, what is it about you not liking to travel, right? I mean, you were in the military and, and I don't think it has anything to do with the military. I think it just has to do with our. Um, comfort. We love to be in our safety, um, and in our environment, right. That we love to be in. So again, it's just one of those things that when you decide, if you're going to. Either staying where you are or you decide to travel right for the holidays, regardless of which one you do, which one you choose, there's still going to be some mind drama. There's still going to be some overwhelm when it comes to. Getting prepared. And like I said, the logistics part of it, right. There's going to be traffic. It's guaranteed that Thanksgiving weekend, there's going to be more traffic. Um, or the flights, you know, it's going through more crowded in the airplane and then the whole COVID thing comes into place. Right? So there's so many things to consider, but still keeping in mind that it's a lot of the things that we can manage. Um, a lot of the thoughts that we have that we can manage ahead of time so that we can then enjoy. The holidays enjoy the time that we have with our families. So again, this episode is kind of twofold because it applies to you who are staying local for the holidays that are possibly catering to family, or if you're traveling and now you have to also cater to family in a different way emotionally. Right? So here's the first thing. How do we mentally prepare? Like how do we do that regardless of. Uh, staying or leaving our location, our comfort safe zone. Like what I like to call that call hours. And the first thing is to accept your decision, right? If you're going to stay put, you're going to stay home it to be alone, whatever it may be going to spend time with family except decision and be okay that you are going to stay local. It's that simple? Just accept it. And if others don't accept your decision, just be okay. That be okay with them, your family, your friends, whomever. It may be that they just love you, right? Like they just want to be with you and it's completely okay. Just how life goes. Like some people are going to want you to do things because it could have been a fit them more than you, but at the same time, it's just about being together. Right. So just accepting and owning that decision. And the same thing goes if you're traveling, right, except the decision of you preparing ahead of time, you know, mentally, um, organizing and really coming up with a plan as we all have to do in the military is just create a plan and action. And it's that simple. You, if you have pets, you know, you're going to have to either, you know, find a dog sitter like we did, or you're going to have to just take them to their, their, um, kennel, whatever it may be, you know, preparing. Um, for the kids not wanting to be in a car for over an hour, my kids don't do well in the car for anything over two hours, they have to use the bathroom. They want a snack. They just want to walk around and whatever it may be, just be okay with that. And honestly, too, like just accepting that. It may be a little chaotic this year. It's going to be obviously different from last year. Um, we're all learning to travel and be together kind of all over again. So just accepting that. So that's step number one. Step. Number two is loving your family for who. Like regardless if you stay or you go because remember family is going to ask you, like, why aren't you coming? Like, what are you going to be doing alone? Like, what do you mean your family? You're only going to be with your family. Like you should come over or whatever it may be. Right. Just love them. The expert, state expectations that they have just love them for who they are, because adults are going to be adults. Like we are all adults. We all can make our own decisions. We all decide based on what's best for us because we know ourselves better than other people know ourselves. So just love them. You know, this is it's it's time to just love them for who they are and be completely okay. And. What I'd like to add here, or want to add to, to this is, you know, dropping the manual for your family, for anyone that's going to be around you during the holidays. Because when we do that, which by the way, if you haven't listened to episode 27, um, I think it's called creating the best relationships require you to drop the manual, um, that you have for them. And. What that means is dropping all expectations that you have for them. Meaning. How this person behaves or what this person says, you have no control over, like the only thing you have control over are your thoughts about their behavior or about their expectations, right? Because we all have these manuals, these agendas in our minds of how our husbands should act around her parents or how our, um, in-laws should act or how. You know, our moms should act or behave or even sometimes the way the nature of our own environment. Right? So for example, my parents are never on time to anything they don't like to plan. They are just the type of people that just wake up one day and they do a safe place. Like they're just. Not as structured as we are. Right. So we've all I know, encountered times where you have everything planned and you just have all these expectations that people are going to show up at the time that you told them to show up, bring the things that they need to bring, you know, just be, um, this person that they should be and behave and not ask crazy questions or say crazy things. But the truth is it's going to happen. Like any time I'm around my parents or any event that my parents that I know my parents are coming to. I have zero expectations. Like I honestly I'm at the point now where if they're hours late, I'm not mad at them. I'm just like, this is who they are. And I love them the way they are or vice versa. Right. You have. Um, family that is, um, possibly more structured than you are, or possibly more demanding when it comes to, you know, having the schedule. Right. So like on the other side of that, on the flip side, which is so crazy and ironic, my, um, my husband's family they're military as well. So of course they're like structured and there's a timeline for, you know, every event and we have to do this this way. So. Like I know that. So I get mentally ready as an individual, which I'm okay with time. I'm okay with, you know, having a timeline, like I'm used to that. My husband, not so much. He's like if we, we have to be there at six, we'll get there six 30. Not that he doesn't respect their time. It's just, he's more comfortable with his family. That's just the truth. And so, you know, it's just becomes, um, I becomes different when, you know, you go to different environments and now you have all these thoughts about, oh, you know, there's too structured or this doesn't have to be this way, whatever it may be, but you want to be able to manage. You want to be able to let go of the agenda and just love them for who they are. Like I said earlier, I love my parents just for who they are. I love them. Like they don't have a timeline and I actually kind of envy that sometimes when I'm like, I wish I could just not care about, you know, not doing things a certain way. I do. And again, vice versa with my husband's family. Like, I love that they are structured and that they, you know, have an agenda for every event. And it's going to start at this time and we don't do this. And you know, all these things that come behind their event. So again, I love them either way. So that's step number two. Um, so step number one, accept the decision that you make and it just accepts. What is happening, um, because you made the decision and then set to love them for who they are, dropped the manual and step number three, step into gratitude, being thankful and just honestly, ready to appreciate the opportunity that we have to travel and to spend time with more family, to spend time with family, to simply decide. On what we want to do. Right? Because last year for most of us, the decision was made that we couldn't, you know, gathering. With X amount of people, or more than X number of people and traveling was not something that was recommended. Right. And I know maybe some of you still, you know, we're able to gather and so on and so forth. But at the end of the day, you know, there was something, um, there was a risk of consequence that came behind that, right. A possibility. Um, not only getting COVID, but possibly, um, also spreading the, um, the virus. So again, just being grateful, like stepping into gratitude that we are now, you know, um, more ahead or farther ahead than we were last year when it comes to, you know, being together, like being able to just spend more time with family. Then we were before, right? Like we all yearned this opportunity. Like we all wanted to just spend time together, regardless of what was going on. Like we just wanted to be together. Like that's who we are as humans. We all want to be a part of a tribe. We all want to be in a group and we want to be together and just connect it. Right. So I think being able to do that gives us an opportunity to really just be grateful for. For this opportunity, regardless if you travel or not, but if you aren't traveling still being grateful for the opportunity to possibly have some time off from work. And if you're not having any time off, then just being grateful for the opportunity that you are able to be with the people that you want to be, that you made that decision and you've honored it. And you've accepted the fact that you're just not going to deal with the logistics, right. Or even other people just being okay with. Honestly just breathing, right? Like just thinking God that we are in this season and we are wanting to just be grateful for where we're at in life. And sometimes it's hard to do that. If everything's not going the way you would want it to be going, but at the same time, really understanding that you will come out of that season sooner than later. And with that, you know, this is more of the aspects. You know, getting mentally prepared. So now let's talk about feelings, right? Let's talk about how do we emotionally prepare for the holidays with, or without the family? So here's the question that I asked myself prior to getting everything together, preparing for all the logistics, to include our dogs, to include packing, to include, you know, communication, all of that stuff. And the question was, how do I want to feel about our Thanksgiving travel arrangements? And specifically for me, it's just wanting to feel at ease, right? Like I want to feel relaxed. I don't want to feel frustrated or overwhelmed or aggravated. Because there's so much that comes with it, right? Like, no, I want to feel at ease. I want to feel relaxed. I want to enjoy it. So with all of that, you know, kind of understanding how I want to feel now I have to focus on what do I need to think, right? Because if I don't do this on purpose intentionally, I'm going to allow. People's words, people's comments, people's expectations to get on the way. And that's not what I want. I want to feel relaxed. I want to windrow my time. I want to just be with the people that I love and be able to show up as my best self. I don't want to show up. Upset frustrated, overwhelmed, and tired, exhausted. I want to be there with my family and I want to be present. I want to be able to enjoy having them around again. I don't see them that often, so I want to be able to be intentional ahead of time. And I know that I can't control how other people behave, how other people feel. So. I know that I can only control me. And if I want to feel grateful, excited, joyful, I am able to create that with how I manage my mind. Right. Like I can do that on purpose regardless of other people's behaviors. And this is the best news. This is also available to you. This is something that I want to offer you to begin thinking about. Right? Like, how do you want to feel about this event? And honestly, how do you want to show up? Like, how do you want to show up with the people that you love, the people that you have chosen to spend time with. Right. And even prior to that, how do you want to feel preparing for this? Right. Do you want to prepare out of a sense of obligation or do you just want to, um, Do it out of a place of desire. Like you want this, you chose to do this because you want to, not because you have to all right lady. Well, that's all that I have for you today. And I pray that this episode of bless you and that it also helps you prepare mentally and emotionally for the holidays. And if you want to take this a step deeper, you want to be more intentional with your time, less exhausted, less frustrated, and just become more productive. I want to invite you to schedule a free session with me so I can help you get started on the freedom from the hustle cycle of overworking and under-resting. Go to or you can also use the link in the show notes. All right. Have a beautiful rest of your. Bye. Hey lady, if this podcast helped you challenge you or inspired you in some way, please leave me a written review for the show on apple podcast and share it with another military sister, helping you integrate balance prioritization in a growth. And your relationship with God is my ultimate comment. I'm so blessed that. Please join us in the faith led military woman community on Facebook at hope to see you there and I'll meet you back here next week. Bye.