Coping with Negative Self Talk This Holiday Season

negative self talk It’s that time of year again…that time when nearly anything standing still is covered with garlands and strands of lights…when commercials bombard us with images of jovial families celebrating together and somehow not rolling their eyes at one another…that time when websites, magazines, and tv shows put everything in terms of countdowns and lists of what’s happened over the past year – all set to music that we’ll all be sick of by the time New Year’s Day finally rolls around.  Ah yes, the holidays…love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re coming, so it’s helpful to be prepared if this time of year is challenging for you.


The holiday season and all the media hype that accompanies it force us to take stock of our lives and what we have accomplished over the past year.  For some of us though, we tend to see only what we haven’t achieved, what goals we haven’t met, what New Year’s resolutions we haven’t crossed off our list.  If taking an inventory of what you’ve done with the past 11 months or so of your life sends your self-esteem level downward, it might be time to squeeze in a few last-minute 2013 resolutions that you can get in under the buzzer:

  • Replace the negative self-talk with positive self-talk statements.  Quiet the critical voice and amplify the supportive one.

  • Be kind to yourself.  The golden rule might be to treat others as you would like to be treated, but sometimes we need to treat ourselves as kindly as we treat others.

  • Practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness.  If you haven’t accomplished one of your 2013 goals, that’s okay.  Try adding these three little letters, Y-E-T, to your life.  “Yet.”  It’s a magical, tiny word that can make a huge difference.  “I haven’t found a good job.” vs. “I haven’t found a good job YET.”  “I’m not married.” vs. “I’m not married YET.”

  • Focus on what you’ve overcome.  Maybe you’ve experienced setbacks, losses, and disappointments, but – if you’re reading this, then that means you survived all those bumps in the road.  You are resilient.  You are accomplished.  You are successful.

  • Spend time in the present.  While learning from the past is important and valuable, dwelling on it can lead to feelings of regret and shame.  Accept that the past is behind you and savor the moments you have in the present moment.

By practicing these five late-in-the-year resolutions, you’ll find yourself enjoying a merry and bright holiday season, just like those jolly people in commercials.  If you need help recognizing what you have overcome and accomplished in 2013, know that we are here for you!

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