The end of the year is upon us so what to do? I know it’s a hard time of year for many and here’s the reasons. We feel obligated to make it perfect, magical and happy. Hallmark movies, and ideas of family togetherness. Getting everything on our wish list and giving the best most amazing gifts. Hitting relationship and career goals, anticipating a holiday vacation that is heavy in price tag and planning…etc. Trying not to over eat, but trying not to miss out on holiday treats. Keeping traditions while not really having time or energy for the rituals we once held dear. It’s never ending the way people stress over the holidays. And in my experience it’s almost always disappointing in some way. I call it my Xmas curse, but I guess it’s inevitable that the end of the year in all of it’s hype, is not all it’s supposed to be.
So how do we cope mentally during such a trying time of the year? How do we find balance and peace during a time that is supposedly all of that and more? The solution can be as simple and complicated as one wants it. But ultimately, it’s all about understanding ourselves and reaching out for what will realistically make a simple solution. Here are my go to’s this year for treating holiday blues:
- Have time for myself: People are afraid to be alone during the holidays. And working a lot is the norm as well. The pressure to fill every moment and minute with another being or working overtime to make year end goals, is not quality time. Trying not to feel alone; not scheduling alone time for reflection and isolation is a negative thing. Solitude during this time of year when the first snow hits makes sense. Embrace it. People will always be around, but the quiet beauty of being one with oneself is a fragile state that must be prioritized.
- Rest a lot: Being stressed and overwhelmed during the holidays is a natural occurrence. Rest and relaxation is not. Which is why I have to work hard at not working hard. Whether it is skipping groceries for a day and ordering take-out or procrastinating on hanging ornaments and xmas lights…it’s really important to rest. It also helps my immune system during the first cold spell and prevents me from getting sick.
- Don’t go shopping: It’s really tempting with all the sales and everyone on the list to not hit the malls frantically and spend. Gifts can be simple and don’t have to be perfect. Spend less time buying and more time thinking about the people you want to gift to. Everything tends to fall into place without too much stress/spending usually. Try to remember that.
- Don’t over eat: Let’s be honest, food is comforting. Whenever I feel sad or alone, I am reaching for salty noodle soup, spicey condiments, and tons of delicious fried delicacies. It’s relaxing and rewarding for the moment and releases happy hormones. But the aftermath is guilt and disgust at myself when all my clothes are tight, and I’m not as cute and petite as I like to be. Everything in moderation. I don’t want to deprive myself, but honestly, I don’t have to over indulge.
- Watch the drinking: Sometimes during the holidays, we are encouraged to let loose and drink. Especially when things are not panning out the way we want. A boyfriend forgets to call, an argument with a sister; during the holidays, these mishaps feel ten times worse. The quick fix is to grab a cocktail. But drinking heightens emotions and subdues restraints. Meaning one can say things one doesn’t mean, or feel even worse about a situation. I’m not saying not to drink. But stay aware of the amount taken and how it may distort one’s perspective on things.
So there it is. My list of things to help me navigate the holiday season, mentally healthy and happy. The end of the year is a time for reflection and no anxiety, so why not make efforts to thwart the tendency for chaos? What better way to right in the new year that to prioritize rest, peace, and self respect? Happy holidays everyone from the bottom of my heart to all this season. And see you on Dreamy Reveries in the new year! I have a lot planned for 2023 here!