We often wish “Happy Holidays” during this time of the year in an effort to give cheer to others, as well as to help keep ourselves in the holiday spirit. Many people do see this time of the year as joyous, happy, family oriented and magical. But there are some who don’t.
Depending on where you live it can be cold and dreary this time of year making it difficult to get out and about. The day’s are shorter than they were a month ago which leaves less time to do things outside the house. For some, they don’t see this time of the year as happy due to past or present events or traumas in their lives. Some are missing family members who have passed on, other’s are missing children or siblings who are deployed, or moved so far away it made visiting difficult. For some, this time of year may bring on sad memories and they would just like to avoid it all together.
What about the families who, for the most part, do enjoy the holidays? Many of them are often times stressed from trying to make their holiday special from organizing parties, get togethers and family events, not to mention shopping, cooking and cleaning. Some are involved in pageants, plays, openings and other community events. Let’s face it, there is a lot going on! It’s the time of year you might see some parents having their own melt downs because the stress is just too much. We won’t even talk about those pictures we all see of “black Friday events”. What’s wrong with those people??
Most of the time, parents are busy trying to make their children’s Christmas perfect. There’s that word “Perfect”. My least favorite word and a big reason why many people are anxious or stressed, not only during the holidays, but through out the year. Deep down we all know that no that one is perfect but for some reason many still try to be that perfect person or give that perfect gift or host that perfect party. Why?
To help avoid this type of stress we need to step back a bit. If your aunt doesn’t get that perfect gift, or if you run out of that great cheese during your party, well, is that really going to ruin someone’s Christmas? Is your neighbor going to leave your party with their head down, shaking his saying “This entire holiday just sucks because she ran out of cheese! How do you run out of cheese at a party! This is the worst Holiday EVER!” Are you going to make your aunts entire holiday the worst one she ever had because you bought her a book she already read? Um…… I’m guessing No? Sounds a little silly now doesn’t it? (but hey, if that does describe your neighbor, give him my card)
Most likely no one even noticed that you ran out of the cheese. Your aunt was happy you thought about her and able to spend time with her. Even your child who didn’t get that one (one??) thing they wanted, well, they might be disappointed for a brief minute or two but they quickly got over it and enjoy the season, the other gifts, and their family and friends. And of course, being out of school.
Then again, if you feel your child’s Christmas is going to be ruined if they don’t get a certain gift then call me, we probably need to talk.
The biggest way you can help yourself avoid that stress overload, or the sadness that sometimes hits during this time of year, is to do a few simple things that I know you already know but I’m going to remind you.
Get plenty of rest. Goggle it if you don’t remember why sleep is important to you. Try to eat healthy, I know it’s hard during this time of the year but try anyway. Your body, and mind will thank you. It goes along way in helping your body reduce the effects of stress, depression and anxiety.
Go easy on the alcohol. For one thing, drunk people are never pretty. But really, alcohol is a depressant so while it might make things feel better for you for a short while, it’s eventually going to catch up with you in a host of other problems, some such as, wrinkles, complexion issues, and possibly some moderate dehydration.
Also, Stop committing yourself to things that you don’t want to do or know you don’t have time for. If your one of those people who have a difficult time telling someone “no” then it’s time to start learning to say the word. Practice saying the word “No”. Say it now. You can do it. “Nooooooo”. There is nothing more stressful than attending a party when you don’t want to be there or need to be doing something else. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Again, the world won’t come to an end, your friends won’t hate you forever, your child will get over it, just say “no”.
And my last advice is to get outside when ever possible. Sunlight is an amazing way of helping to ward off depression and anxiety as well as to help with stress. Sunlight at least 30 minutes a day can do wonders. A brisk walk outside can help de stress and give yourself time to get distracted from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The sunlight helps with Vitamin D and a host of other positives, and doing something different, or taking time to get away from the stress helps your mind to re focus on what’s important.
So as Anna says “Let it Go”!!