Holidays tend to be a difficult time of year for many, whether it is the first holiday after the loss of a loved one, dealing with the burden of financial constraints, entertaining, or just simply trying to get along with family. The holiday season can be one filled with happiness for many, but stress and depression for others. With a few tips, holidays may become more manageable and you may even find yourself enjoying them more than you ever imagined!
Self-care is a tip that cannot be stressed enough. Through self-care one should be focused on downtime, eating, and sleeping. It is so important to find time for YOU. While immersed in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you have to remember to find time to unwind. If there are things that you want to say “no” to, remember that you can without feeling guilty. By saying “yes” to holiday party invites, extra hours at work or anything that does not sit well with you or your schedule can leave you feeling overwhelmed and bitter. Be realistic about what you are capable of handling and also understanding of any curves thrown your way. If this year more family is coming than expected, set a budget, if your children can not make it home, find other ways to communicate. Families go through changes, whether they grow or downsize, traditions can change too. Be realistic and open to adapt!
Acknowledgment of your feelings is crucial not only during the holiday season but throughout any time of year. Specifically though, during the holidays, sadness and grief tend to be common feelings. Holidays, after the loss of a loved one or the inability to be with them can be difficult. It is okay to allow yourself time to grieve and cry, express your feelings. This goes hand in hand with what was said before about not pushing yourself to do things that you do not want to do. This does not mean that you should wallow at home, but you also cannot force yourself to be happy because others are or because “it’s the holidays” and it is expected of you.
While in this holiday funk, you are allowed to grieve, but not forget the importance of self-care. Continue to stick with healthy habits. Make the effort to not over-drink. Say “no” to drinking or seconds if you do not want them. Get an adequate amount of sleep. Do not over-indulge if you know you will feel remorseful after, and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine so that not only physically, but mentally, you will feel better. You are allowed to enjoy your holiday as you choose to. You need to anticipate fun and stress, not perfection. Make expectations manageable. Stay realistic and stay within budget. Give gifts that you can afford to give. Do not over-extend yourself financially just to please others. Try something different. Make a homemade gift. Surround yourself with people and activities you enjoy and people who support you. Talk to someone who comforts you. Seek out people in your community who can provide you with companionship and volunteer together. Giving back sometimes gives your own self a feeling of so much more! Smile more. Be patient with those whom have none during this time. Be kind to sales associates in stores and more patient with impatient customers. Keep your peace of mind and react less to angry out-of-state drivers. Focus more on you. Do things that make you feel good. Donate to a charity. Read a book. Get a massage. Listen to music. Start journaling. Exercise. Save a few pennies, make those homemade gifts. Or maybe even spend a little on yourself. Most importantly…TAKE CARE OF YOU!