Holiday Stress Tips
It’s here. That time of year. The “most happiest season of all!” Yet so many times, we are not the happiest. Is it because we are so busy trying to make everything “merry and bright” for everyone else that we forget to take a little time out for ourselves?
For so many years, we were told that this season is magical and wonderful – but so many of us feel so down and gloomy and stressed and can’t wait for the season to be over? (Well, maybe not all of the time but some of the time. Or maybe more this year that in those past.) And, you know what, that is OK. Yes, we all feel that way at some point.
Whoa? Say what?
Yes, I said it. It is OK that we feel down during this season. Yet, the big thing is that we need to be sure that we put ourselves at the top of our Christmas list. Why not give ourselves a little gift of self-care and self-love? I’m not saying that we need to buy ourselves that gorgeous piece of jewelry or that expensive sparkly sweater or a new vehicle. What I am saying is that we need to take some time out for ourselves, to actually enjoy the season.
The Health Coach Institute shares 20 tips to help weave in some self-care during this season. Why are these tips, or any others that you hear so important? While we want the holiday season to be as perfect as it can be, we oftentimes do a lot for everyone else and forget to take the time out for ourselves and start to feel overwhelmed.
Go to Tip #1 – LET IT OUT! Or, as the Ice Queen Elsa sings, “let it go, let it go.” We need to do that. Let it go! Let it OUT! Cry. Take a nap. Go for a walk (which is also part of Tip #6 – be active). Do what you need to do to let out the stress and make yourself feel better. I am speaking from experience – a good cry or a short walk or run heals a lot!
Another tip is not to be too hard on yourself. It is the holiday season, after all. We give others a pass, why not ourselves? Want that extra cookie or glass of wine? OK, then do that. It is not going to make or break you (well, unless you are driving then maybe not have the wine). If you do indulge, then make up for it later in the day or the next day. We must remember that we are human and can make mistakes and have urges. Just be smart about them. (That’s Tip #2)
It’s OK to say “NO!”
However, it is easy to start to overdo things. That’s when Tip #7 is most important. Just say “NO!” That’s right. ”No.” It is an easy 2 letter word, probably one of the first that we said as little, tiny toddler. “No.” Then, why as adults, it is the most difficult word to say? Saying “no” is the easiest form of self-care we can give ourselves. Many times, we give a “false yes,” so we can avoid confrontation or avoid disappointing people. Or, we may suffer from FOMO – fear of missing out. But maybe we need to miss out so we can rest our bodies and minds?
Rest – yes that is the key. I am not one to shy away from a good rest day! No way! I love to have downtime. Not too much. I need to stay busy. A lot. Drives my family crazy. A good nap or curling up with a book. Yes, that is my idea of a good rest. Tip #8. Get enough sleep. Zzzzz is my favorite sound to make. (Snoring by others, nope! Sorry, husband!)
We can’t forget to say “thanks!”
The last tip I am going to touch on, because I feel it is the most important – Tip #19 – Make a Holiday Gratitude List. So many times, during this season we feel it is all about the tangible. We need to give, give, give, or judge what people give us. Instead, sit back with a piece of paper and pen each night and write down the small things that happened that made us smile, that got us through the day, that made it all worth it. Maybe a hello from a stranger. A funny message from a friend. A silly meme seen on social media. Not dropping your keys or coffee in the snow. Those little things, yea, they make it easier to get through these crazy days! A mental note to say “thank you” to the universe for making our heart smile.
Every December, we seem to be faced with the same things – stress of the holidays, preparing for the new year, making everything merry and bright. 2020 has magnified all of this craziness by, well, 2020! This year, we all want things perfect because it has been such a tough year. So, really look at Tip #20 – give up the idea of perfection! 2020 was less than perfect, so we really don’t need the holidays to make up for it. Keep it simple!
It is extra important that we really look at the top 20 tip list, and allow ourselves some slack. We are human. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can actually experience this “most magical time of the year!’ And, not be the Grinch!