5 Mantras to Help You Survive the Holiday Season

5 Mantras to Help You Survive the Holiday Season by Kendra Kantor |http://kendrakantor.com

No matter what religion you adhere to, you probably have some sort of family obligations this winter. And as much as we all (try to) love and accept our families, they can be hard to deal with. Holidays are a very high stress time of the year and so it’s best to try to prepare yourself now for how to get through it unscathed.

Last year, I shared how to enjoy the holidays and avoid overwhelm, this year I want to give you some real mantras to utilize during these stressful times to help you feel calm and centered.

I give myself permission to say no.

For so many of us, we want to keep our family and friends happy and not cause any upsets. Which often results in saying “yes” to everything and anything during the holidays! Back to back social functions or events can cause too much stress, especially if you have a mental illness. Give yourself permission to say no this year.

I will be patient and tolerant.

Try not to react instantly to negative, political, religious or offensive comments from a friend or family. Take a pause and gather your thoughts, try to respond non-judgmentally and calmly. Getting worked up and reacting with yelling or hurt won’t make the holidays easier to deal with.

The way people react or treat me is not a personal attack.

Similar to the above but this is just as important of a reminder so I’m including it for you. Maybe on the holidays, your brother tends to drink a little too much and comments on how isolated you are all the time, he jokes about your overall depressive mood and it stings! Take a breath and say this mantra to yourself. You don’t know everything your brother is going through and it is almost never a personal attack on you, it’s a way for them to deal with their own life.

I am in charge of my life and I will honor the energies and values I want to cultivate.

It’s totally okay to want to do something different than the majority of your family and friends. This is something that I’ve learned a lot since having my son. My little family of three doesn’t thrive in a high energy environment but my siblings and parents are loud and high energy. It’s fun to be around but not all day! We have learned to make sure we take breaks but more importantly, do our own holiday celebrating as just the three of us in a calm way too.

I will not let the perfect get in the way of the good.

We all have a picture in our heads of the perfect way to decorate, or the perfect meal, the perfect gathering…but the reality is that mistakes happen, life isn’t picture perfect and you know what, that’s okay! Use this mantra to remind yourself that, while it might not be the fairy tale you imagined in your head, things are pretty good getting to hang out with friends and family.

Here’s a jpg image you can download and save to your phone to help remind you throughout the next month of these mantras! Feel free to share it on social media as well. Just click to open the full image and then right click and select “save as” or “download as”

Holiday Mantras by Kendra Kantor

Share in the comments what mantras you plan to use most this holiday season!

heart kendra

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Journal Prompt: What Is Happiness?

Happiness Is...Journal Prompt by Kendra Kantor | http://kendrakantor.com

Between my move and sickness, I’ve been doing lots of doodles of girls and portraits. They feel needed, I feel like I want to express things with a face along with the words on my page. The prompt I’m sharing today is something so simple that you might scoff at it but just try it.

The idea behind this, for me, is that sometimes I’m striving for this idea of being happy all the time without thinking what that even means for me, on a personal level. Happiness to you might be a rock concert but happiness for me is hanging at home with my family.

What is happiness?

Happiness Is...Journal Prompt by Kendra Kantor | http://kendrakantor.com

Happiness is…
feeling complete

Happiness Is...Journal Prompt by Kendra Kantor | http://kendrakantor.com

supplies used : reeves watercolor crayons , strathmore mixed media journal, pilot precise v7 (similar).

Grab your journal, try out the question and post a link to your finished spread in the comments!

heart kendra

ps: Did you know I offer 1-on-1 mentoring for art journaling?! The Journal It! Sessions are about helping you break through blocks and doubts so you can work with a journal in a productive way to improve your wellness and self discovery.

It’s like meeting up with your bff for an art date and getting to vent over some fancy coffee drinks. But really, it will be you and me over skype, chatting about all things wellness and (art) journaling!

Check it out and sign up, today!

(Some links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you buy after clicking, I get a portion of the sale. I will only ever add affiliate links to thinks I like and approve of.)

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4 Ways Organizing Your Home Can Make You Happier

4 Ways Organizing Your Home Can Make You Happier by Kendra Kantor

If you don’t follow me on instagram, you might not know but my little family of 3 recently moved from Illinois to Virginia. It is a huge step for us in so many ways. We left our support system (and my built in babysitter!) but the job opportunity for my husband was too huge to pass up. It’s only been a few weeks but so far, things are going well.

No matter how well I’m doing with my anxiety, big changes like this can cause me to be a little shakey around the edges. The switch up of a routine is big for me, I need to know what to expect so I can manage my symptoms and I bet you are the same way. Routines are a common (and fantastic) way to keep depression, anxiety or other mental illness a bit more in line.

Our new routine isn’t solidified yet, I’m still figuring out how to work from home without a babysitter and when to schedule chores and things. But something I have been focusing on is our physical space.

It would be really really easy to just pile boxes in the closet and say, “some day.” And it would be even easier to not hang pictures or decorate much since we live in an apartment now. But instead, I’m emptying boxes, making lists of things to buy and selecting which art should go in each room.

4 Ways Organizing Your Home Can Make You Happier

Having things organized can help facilitate a routine

Having your desk ready to go every morning or your beauty supplies laid out or even just your coffee on the right shelf can give you a way to start building your routine back up. One of the first things I did in our new home was to get as many boxes in the correct room as possible and then got them empty right away.

Once I got my desk set up my routine has started to get as back to normal as it can possibly be. (I’m currently writing this as my kiddo plays video games, that’s our new normal!)

Having your space reflect the FEELINGS you want can help keep you calm

Even if you are living in an apartment, I think it’s really important to decorate and hang art. Why? Because it sets the mood for a room. Hanging large black and white photos gives a completely different feel than a collage of family snapshots. The energy of a space is a huge factor in my personal anxiety so picking artwork for each space that reflects what I need and want in my home is essential to my wellbeing.

I pick lots of blues, calming scenes and many family snaps. Because looking at those pictures throughout the day helps me feel calm and centered.

Having familiar objects out can help with the anxiety big changes cause

Moving spaces is hard hard hard. There are some spaces in my home that I want new things but I also really need the comfort of familiarity. Like our hundreds of books. Or even just making sure I am using the same shampoo or that my perfume is easily reach-able every morning. The sight and use of those familiar objects is so small but so helpful. Imagine during a big move to have to get used to a brand new shampoo or having no idea where your favorite book is!

Get them out and get them easily seen and in a place that makes sense and might even be similar to where they were before you moved for peace of mind.

Getting your home organized gives you less to stress about, and less to do

I still don’t utilize lists much but during our move and getting out home organized, I do. A lot. I currently have 4 pages of lists sitting next to me on my desk right now. But the beauty of them is that things are getting done, and they are getting smaller. When we first arrived the lists were things like: “unpack bathroom” now it’s “finish painting for bathroom”. Smaller, and more fun things to accomplish!

Being able to sit on the couch and not see tons of boxes that need packed or piles of things that need organized gives me a lot less to stress about and now I’m able to actually relax and play with my kiddo instead of feeling like I need to be productive constantly.

Having an organized, decorated home is something that really reflects your inner values and emotions. It’s something very small to do in the grand scheme of things and can make more of an impact on your daily mental health than you might realize. Start out small this week and get 1 room in your house organized and decorated and let me know how it feels in the comments!

heart kendra

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