On one hand December can be the most wonderful time of the year, and on the other hand unfortunately for some it might be the most stressful time of the year. Whether it’s financial stress; the loss of a loved one; the cold and gloomy weather; or COVID and not being able to be with all of our family and friends, all of these are valid reasons that can make it a tough time. If you are one experiencing stress during the holidays here are a few tips to hopefully support you with having a healthier and happier Holiday!
Reflect on what this day is truly about: (aka Jesus’ birthday for us Christians) Often we get caught up in the buying of gifts and the busyness with getting ready for the Holidays. Slowing down and appreciating what this day is all about might just help to reduce unnecessary stress and bring us even more joy!
Practice Gratitude: Lets face it 2020 has been a challenging year, and our Holidays probably look a little different. However, reflecting on those things we DO have such as: life; health; a roof over our head; food on the table; etc. can really support our emotional health. This is NOT to say those negative emotions you are feeling are not valid because they most definitely are, but sometimes even a little gratitude can support with changing our perspective for the greater good.
Spend quality time with loved ones: This may look a little different this year due to COVID, however there are still ways to connect with the people you love. Consider taking advantage of the smaller family gatherings and getting more of that one on one time; facetime a friend or family member; set up a zoom meeting for a virtual happy hour or a Christmas party; text a friend; look at pictures and reflect on precious memories of loved ones that have passed; etc.
Spend Less: For many 2020 has caused some financial stress, and all of the Christmas gifts can add up quickly which can add even more stress. A Heart felt letter; a picture; or something you made often means much for more than the priciest gift out there! I encourage you to get creative with your gifts this year. Having a creative outlook can support your emotional health, and it can even support with making the best gift of all time.
Enjoy Giving: Acts 20:35 says it best " remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive".
Be more present: We often are thinking about what is to come next versus truly enjoying what is happening in this very moment. Consider slowing down and bringing your attention to what is going on right then and there. If you do this you might notice: that your Holiday meal tastes a little better; how much you appreciate this gift; and how these small moments are going to make precious memories.
Take some "me time": I understand there are several Christmas festivities to tend to, however consider doing something for yourself to support your well-being even if it's for 5 minutes. Some examples are: meditating; praying; yoga; walking; deep breathing; journaling; etc.