The holidays can be such a joyous, wonderful time for many. ‘Tis the season for music, decorating, shopping, baking, gift giving, traditions, and celebrations with family and friends. Many people feel that this is the most wonderful time of the year. For some, though, the holidays are not so enjoyable. If you are one of those who struggle during the holidays, you are not alone. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed right now, here are some tips to help you through the next few weeks.
Just say “no.” You do not have to attend every holiday function you are invited to. If you do not want to go, stay home or find something else you would prefer to do instead.
Give yourself a break. Remember to take time for yourself during this season. Allow yourself time to rest, breathe, and recharge.
Focus on what truly matters to you. Find something important and meaningful to you and put energy into that.
Set boundaries and do not feel bad about it. Know your limits and stick to them. Do not give into the pressure of others.
Be realistic. You cannot please everyone so do not even try. Set realistic goals for your day and realistic expectations for yourself and others.
Start a new tradition. This can be whatever you choose. Make it fun and suitable to your specific desires.
Treat yourself. Do something nice for yourself and do not feel guilty about it.
When anxiety hits, remember to STOP: Slow down or stop what you are doing. Take a breath. Observe what is going on in your mind and body. Proceed with a plan to support your needs (do I need a nap, food, fresh air, etc?).
Talk to someone. If you are struggling, reach out for help. Whether it is a trusted friend, family member, or a professional, you do not have to go through it alone.
If you are one of those people who LOVES this time of year, that is great! Enjoy it and soak it all in! Please remember, though, not everyone does. Some people feel overwhelmed right now so show some grace if your friend turns down your party invite, or if you do not receive a holiday card from everyone you are expecting to hear from. This can be a truly joyous time of year, but not for everyone, so it is important to remember that. Respect others and extend kindness when you are able to, especially during the holidays.