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Rest & Resilience Tricks to be Holiday Ready

It is holiday season and I feel like I am standing at the starting line of a race waiting for the starting gun to fire, yet I don’t know why I’m racing or where to. 


Yes, my friends, I know you know it. It’s that time of the year.


Have you ever noticed that some years it’s like,

“hey, how did the holidays get here so fast?” and other years it’s, “Wow, I thought this year would never end.”?

I’m feeling a bit of an odd mix of the two this year, so I have decided to really turn inward and focus on how I get through this holiday season. 

In the past year, our family has lost both my father and father-in-law. Holidays are going to be hard without them.


But it’s more than that.


They’re going to be strange without them on the other end of the phone talking incessantly about who-knows-what for what seems like the entire day.

However, our family is stationed in Europe this year for the holidays, so we wouldn’t be seeing them in person anyway.

Odd as it may sound, I am embracing that fact to help build my foundation on which to stand so I have less of a chance of crumbling.

I am exploring our new area as well as anything within a one day drive (aka: most of Europe) and laying out a flexible plan of fun and adventure for our family.


One of the most important steps to build, and maintain, resilience during the holiday season is to always be flexible.


Especially if you live somewhere that often has inclement weather.

Build a plan.

Have a backup, or two.

I mean, we are military spouses here, right? We know how to have plans A-Z. Embrace that knowledge to create a season that you dictate.

One of the things people often do during the holidays is over-commit themselves to the point of burnout.

Many don’t realize it until January 2nd when they are more exhausted than they’ve been in months. This is why it is so important to make time for rest as well as fun.


This is where “honing the holidays” is a crucial skill.


One can create pockets of rest on any given day, regardless of events and commitments. All that must be done is to recognize the moments when nothing is “required” and then simply do that.

And by “that,” I mean “nothing”.

Have a two hour gap between a lunch and dinner commitment? PERFECT!

Don’t fill it in with a last minute invitation to afternoon tea unless, deep in your heart, you genuinely want to say yes.

Saying “No,” is the last fundamental skill for creating restful moments and building resilience during the holiday season.


Having boundaries and honoring them is always imperative to good mental health. 


During the holidays, it seems that even the most stalwart, boundary-respecting individuals can fall off the train and succumb to the pleas of friends and relatives for just “a bit more” of their time or energy.

Knowing how much you have to give, while maintaining enough of yourself for yourself and your family at home, can be a game changer.

You might be surprised how good it feels to tell Aunt Patty that, “No, I can’t go back to the store for the fourth time today to get the eggnog you forgot to tell me to grab the other three times I went.”

Whatever your religion, beliefs, practices, observances, or plans for this holiday season, remember to rejoice in the opportunity to show yourself a little extra love and respect.

Find comfort in moments alone as well as those with the ones you have chosen to share yourself and your time with. Maybe make napping a new tradition.



*To read more of Manda’s posts, check out her M:M Author page or reach out to her at The Healitary Spouse.




  • Manda Lynn McVey

    Manda Lynn McVey met her husband when they were 12 years old. After graduating high school and leading very separate lives, they found their way back around to each other bringing her into the military community as a late-career spouse. They have one daughter together and she has two amazing bonus kids. During her almost seven years as a military spouse, Manda Lynn has been named Armed Forces Insurance’s 2022 Fort Polk Spouse of the Year and become a Spouse Master Resilience Trainer, Army Family Team Building Instructor, Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner, Behaviour Change Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Educator, and Yoga & Meditation Instructor with over 3,700 volunteer hours under her belt leading military spouses to reconnect with their intuition to achieve overall wellness and resilience through a variety of modalities. She coaches military spouses and significant others to build resilience and wellness with a focus on community building, readiness, nutrition, and mindfulness as well as “gaining by giving” to help them feel more included in their communities, on and off installations, so they may build solid foundations to reclaim their health and resilience. An extremely resourceful person, Manda Lynn finds joy in sharing resources and knowledge with fellow military spouses and the community off-installation. Bringing resilience, wellness, and resources to the military and first responder community is something that comes to her naturally. Turning it into her full-time job has been a dream come true.


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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

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