The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, happiness, and warmth, though at times they can be overwhelming and exhausting. Pressures from family and friends, time constraints, and personal and societal expectations can leave even the jolliest of people feeling run down.
How can we ensure that our holidays are peaceful and bright?
First, make sure you are taking care of yourself.
In this season of giving, give yourself the gift of self-care. Get enough sleep, eat regularly, exercise, take a warm shower, and journal. Take a night to wear cozy pajamas and cuddle up on the couch with hot chocolate and a feel-good Christmas movie. Take a walk in the snow or drive around and look at the Christmas lights. Do things that fill up your cup.
Second, set realistic expectations for yourself.
There will never be enough hours in the day to do all the shopping, see all the friends, attend all the dinners, or travel all of the places. Accept the fact that you can’t do everything. Get comfortable saying “no thanks” and say “yes” things you WANT to do, not because you feel obligated or guilty. It’s okay to arrive a little late or leave early!
Third, set boundaries around your space, time, and topics.
Don’t feel like giving hugs? Ask for handshakes or fist bumps instead. It’s okay to say that you need some alone time or that you don’t feel comfortable talking about a specific topic. Openly communicate your boundaries with others and be prepared to disengage when your boundaries are not being respected.
The holidays can stir up an incredible number of emotions, both good and bad. Remember that humans are capable of feeling multiple emotions at once. Acknowledge each emotion for what it is without being ashamed. Ask others around you for what you need mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If at the end of the day it all becomes too overwhelming, connect
with a therapist. We’re here to help you make the most of your holiday season, whatever that looks like for you!