The holidays bring up a lot of emotions. Right now, with the move and constant sickness/ injuries (Ramsey broke her leg a few weeks ago) the idea of Christmas is stressing me out a bit. Typically, the holidays do bring joy and happiness! But the stress is there for many people and for others it gets even deeper.
(Our decorations so far)
The holidays can be a time of reflection, sadness, anxiety, and feelings of stress. These feelings are often referred to as the holiday blues. While these feelings are typically very short-lived, they can still have a major impact on your ability to get everything done and function at optimum capacity during this time of the year. Even people who adore Christmastime can experience the holiday blues and since the holidays are often a time of high emotion and demands, many people end up feeling worn down and stressed out. This year, I really hope that anyone who has previously experienced the holiday blues can have a great time without the sadness. Here are my best ideas when it comes to staying on top of the holidays without letting them bring you down:
Set limits and learn how to say “no” more often, so that you do not get so overwhelmed. If you know me well, you are aware I struggle with this. I hate saying no, but to get by and give my family the attention they deserve it’s necessary. This time of the year is crazy for most. There are parties galore, people to shop for, decorations to put up, cookies to bake, and so many other things that need to get done. It is exhausting to do it all, so just know that YOU DON’T HAVE TO. Nobody is going to judge you for not handing out cookies to all of your neighbors this year, or skipping your friend of a friend’s Christmas party. You have to set limits for yourself and your family, in order to actually enjoy this time of the year.
But Don’t Isolate Yourself
If you do end up setting limits and saying “no” more often, just make sure that you are not saying it TOO often. While you do want to limit the amount of work that you have to do and parties that you have to attend, you do not want to completely isolate yourself and your family either – there has to be a healthy balance. Set guidelines for yourself to help with this. Maybe it is only attending one event each weekend, or limiting the number of people who are invited over for Christmas Eve dinner. Whatever guidelines you set for yourself, just make sure that you are not completely locking yourself away in your home. This time of the year is about being together, afterall!
Have Realistic Expectations
As people age and people move apart, the holidays have the potential to change. This can be really hard on some people and a lot of those who have experienced change with the holidays after having traditions for many years can harbor bad feelings towards these changes. This year, instead of getting upset over the changes that have happened, or are happening, try your best to see the joy in your current situation. I promise you – there is joy, even if you are struggling with the thought of creating new traditions! Between marriage, moves and kids our traditions are non existent so we’re working to nail down some we can keep up with!
Keep Up With Your Exercise
Keeping up with your exercise is a great way to get out of the house for 30 minutes to an hour to get your mind off of everything. If you are stressed out about shopping for gifts, wrapping, or doing it all, try taking your mind off of it and allow yourself to reset. Tell yourself that when you come out of that exercise class, or when you finish your run, you are going to start fresh and you are going to knock things out.
Finish Preparations In Advance
I know that we are cutting it close to the deadline now, but you are still ahead of a lot of people, I can promise you that. Start prepping for your holiday dinner now and prepare as much food as you can in advance or delegate. You can also cater your meal or make a reservation! This will help you cut back on your stress closer to the holidays and will allow you to actually spend time with the ones you love on the day of. In addition, finish your shopping and wrapping now to get it off your plate (Amazon, people).
Random Acts of Kindness
Doing a random act of kindness is a guaranteed way to improve your day. It’s crazy how this simple thing can cheer you up! When you see someone else happy and thankful (or even if you don’t see it), and you know that you are the reason for that happiness, it automatically puts you in a great mood. If you don’t know where to start when doing an act of kindness, let me give you a few ideas! You could…
- If you are in a coffee line, ask to pay for the person waiting behind you.
- Bring coffee or breakfast to a coworker (coffee brings joy, clearly)
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Walk dogs at a shelter
- Donate blankets to the needy (in the winter)
- Help someone with a task they cannot perform on their own
- Donate to Toys For Tots
If for whatever reason, your emotions seem to get the best of you or a family member of yours this year, take a deep breath – it is going to be okay! A good way to get your emotions back on-track as soon as possible would be to speak with a counselor, such as the ones at Ray of Hope Counseling Services. They provide therapy and counseling for couples, families, groups, and individuals, With eight locations, as well as online therapy, they are there for you to help you navigate your life changes and have a goal of helping you feel better. If you are searching for therapy in Lawrenceville GA, Marietta, Canton, Alpharetta, Athens, Conyers, and other locations in Georgia, check them out.