The holidays are often stressful for people and there are usually a variety of articles on managing holiday stress this time of year. As 2020 draws to a close, this post will not be about that. Most of us now have a graduate degree in stress management!
This holiday may be a little different or a lot different, depending on your circumstances. You may be foregoing trips to see family, large gatherings or some holiday traditions.
If you’re alone, you might be more prone to sadness and depression this holiday season. It’s important, especially now, to make sure that you have something to look forward to each day. Stay in touch with family and friends and don’t wait for them to make the first move. They may be feeling less than merry themselves!
Look for opportunities to enjoy safe outdoor activities. Check in with a friend and bundle up for a winter walk. Our local Botanic Gardens has a lovely Blossoms of Light display that we’ve gotten tickets to. Some restaurants are offering outdoor dining options. If it’s warm where you are, take advantage. Since it’s definitely on the chillier side where I am, some restaurants are offering outdoor igloos, yurts and heated tents.
At home, make it festive. Even though we won’t be having a gathering at our home this season, we have our lights up and our Christmas tree, wreath and other decorations are on display.
Take time for you and what you need. I was working with a client recently who was navigating some stressors at work, and I remember thinking that she really needed to take care of herself. It took me about two seconds to realize I needed to do the same, and I promptly blocked out some vacation time for myself over the holidays. Pay attention to what will bring you comfort and joy.
And pay attention to what will bring others the same. Be someone’s angel. Go out of your way to do something kind for someone else. Leave cookies on someone’s doorstep with a note “From Santa.” Drop off a little something for someone who has gone out of their way for you this year. Do some small thing every day to bring a smile to someone else and I guarantee you will be the beneficiary of good feelings as much as they will. If there was ever a year folks need a little cheer, this is it.
In keeping with practicing what I preach and taking some time off, this will be my last newsletter this year. I will be in touch again in the New Year and am sending all of you love and warm wishes for a happy and healthy Christmas season. Take good care.