Have a G.R.E.A.T holiday season

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Monte Snyder
  • 403rd Wing performance process manager

What is your favorite holiday tradition? What is your picture perfect holiday scene you try to create every holiday season? 

Close your eyes for a moment, and visualize what it looks and feels like to experience that perfect holiday moment … and please ignore ‘cousin Eddie,’ from the “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” movie. Let’s face it, we all have a ’cousin Eddie’ or have experienced a Griswold’s holiday season.

Sometimes no matter how hard we tried, the holiday just didn’t go according to our plan; and, that is ok; we still made it through. We still created memories, and we still tell the stories of what happened, and what didn’t happen. How we grieved, how we cried, how we laughed, and how we laughed so hard we cried.

My point is, most of us have experienced a full spectrum of what the holidays can be. My challenge to you is to build a G.R.E.A.T resiliency plan, to maximize the holiday season.

G. Start and end each day with gratitude, what are a few simple things I can be grateful for today?  Was I able to show grace or courteous goodwill to myself, and the people around me?  Did I have an opportunity to give of myself (knowledge, talent, skillsets, and resources) to help others, and take action?

R. A great set of words from my training in Integrative Restoration (iRest), reconnect-reclaim-renew. Reconnect with my true self, my friends, family, and reclaim all the things that may have been pushed aside over the past year, but are still vitally important to me. Renew traditions, renew my sense of meaning and purpose, which will help me to recover my inner resources of joy, peace, well-being, and enduring resiliency.

E. Monitor and maintain my energy level, because it directly affects my resilience level. Encourage myself and others as much as possible, as it builds resilience through affirmation, and have as much empathy as possible with others, to better understand the world around me.

A.  One thing that is important to me is awareness, because once I am aware of something, no matter if it is awareness for myself, of others, the environment, or even a specific situation; then I can do something about it. Having the knowledge makes it easier to accept those who are different, the situation, the things I can’t control and those things that don’t always work out the way I want. Plus, I always remember to appreciate the good, the bad, and the ugly. Knowing and appreciating that very few things in life happen exactly as planned and being able to show appreciation to the people around me. 


T. Talk it out, stay connected and share with others. I can’t do this alone. Knowing my triggers, that cause me stress provide me an opportunity to pause, and think before I respond or react to a situation or person. Attempt to transform every event and situation into something of value, to create a feeling and a bond of togetherness for everyone to enjoy.

Remember the saying about best-laid plans; they often go awry. So be willing to adapt and overcome those challenges by realizing the value of the moment. I know that no matter what happens, planned or not, how I create the greatest value in that moment is the most important thing.

Bottom line, forward think your holidays and plan as much as possible, but stay flexible to remain resilient. By appreciating every experience and interaction, we can continue to support each other and truly enjoy our time with friends, family and co-workers. So, remember to have a G.R.E.A.T. holiday season.