With the holiday season fast approaching, overwhelming feelings begin to set in and taking care of ourselves usually takes the back burner. What may be the “most wonderful time of the year” for many, can be an incredibly stressful time for others. Bills need to be paid, presents purchased and deadlines met, all before we can truly start to feel the holiday cheer.
However, with a few tips and tricks, you can successfully combat these “holiday blues”.
- Know your limits
The holidays tend to involve plenty of obligations and commitments, and you may feel as if you’re being pulled in a million different directions, constantly running from one social event to the next. It is important to prioritise your social battery and know when to say “no”. Set some boundaries and choose which events to go to and tasks to complete first, instead of trying to fit everything in and burning yourself out.
- Prioritise your peace
If certain friends or family members are unsupportive, judgmental or just particularly tough to be around, put yourself first. If you are unable to avoid these people altogether, then try limiting contact with them as much as possible and act civil during any encounters. If you feel yourself getting worked up, then take a deep breath and walk away. Sitting around the dinner table isn’t exactly the place to hash out big issues and you are unlikely to get anywhere in solving your conflict with an audience.
- Respect your budget
It’s easy to go overboard. Splurging on countless social commitments, Christmas presents and fun holiday activities can all add up. But remember, overspending now leads to stress later. Set a budget and stick to it.
- Do things that you enjoy
Whether that’s watching your favourite Christmas movie, decorating the tree or baking some delicious holiday cookies, remember to take some time for yourself and unwind.
- Focus on gratitude
The holiday season can be a dark time for some. Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or struggling to make ends meet, this time of year can be challenging. It is important to be grateful for what you do have – big or small. It can be something as simple as waking up in a warm bed on a snowy day or having food on the table. Practising gratitude is scientifically proven to increase energy and decrease stress and anxiety. And who couldn’t do with a little less stress as the year draws to a close?
- Take some time to give back
On the topic of gratitude, I’m sure you have many things to be grateful for that others do not. Try helping out at your local food shelter or donating clothes and blankets to charities near you. There are plenty of organisations looking for help during the holidays and your skills or unwanted items can be put to good use.
Enjoy the festive season and remember to take some time for yourself in between all the chaos and obligations. Practice self-love and take care of yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.