Holy smokes! The year has already come and gone. What a blur it's been. When the year comes to a close, there's always a hustlin' and bustlin' for gatherings for friends & families . . . and potentially foes.
Aunt Gertrude's mustache is getting full... Uncle Nate's dog is poorly-behaved... Cousin Becky literally won't shut up! Did you forget someone's gift?
The holiday season can really be stressful! Here are some healthy tips to help you through the hectic holidays.
The holidays unfortunately have an innate ability to put pressure on people. There's a lot of culturally set 'rules' to holidays, that don't actually have to be applied. While expressing love or appreciation with gifts can be nice, it's important to understand that not everyone has the financial strength (or stability) to legitimize a massive spike in expenses. By letting friends & family know your situation, not only will they respect you better, but they'll also appreciate your presence. If you lie, and make excuses, (or go way-over budget) you're only really doing a disservice to you and your family.
Present, as in I'm here, is one of the best ways to really celebrate with those you love. Some families are close in geographic proximity. Some are spread out for miles and miles! Does wrapping an object up and giving it to someone really show appreciation? Instead, try to connect with people, in person if possible but at the very least over the phone or video-chat to let them know you are present! That's a wonderful gift we can give our loved ones all year long.
Emotions run high, especially during stressful times and self-Esteem can run low. Everyone celebrates differently and as such, everyone should also be at peace with each others' differences. Granted family drama can often happen, but it's essential to stay kind. You don't want to 'lose it' at the table, and have a complete meltdown, right?
Be Good...To Yourself!
*You* are still priority. Yes, spending time with family is important, but you still have to take care of yourself! Tensions running rampant? Are you feeling a little socially claustrophobic? That's quite alright! Take a minute to cool down. Re-asses, Re-analyze. Breathe. Take a walk. Take a nap. Whatever you can do take a bit of time for yourself, do it.
A LOT happens in the brain & heart during the holidays. Memories get kicked up, feelings are manifested...some good, but maybe some bad too. Taking a moment for quiet self-reflection is always a good way to 'reset' your mental environment. Maybe your brother got you a gag-gift and you were hoping for something a bit more realistic... That's okay -- but know that there are millions of people scattered across the globe that might not be as fortunate so don't take things too personally, everyone is trying their best to get through the season in one piece.
Baggage. We carry it everywhere we go. As emotional beings, we are living collections of all of our experiences. We carry our past into the present, and dwell upon the present in planning the future. That's exhausting! Learning to let go (even if just a short while) can help you better 'deal' with people in your world.
Grandma made sweet sea-salt fudge!! Yes!!! ....But, that doesn't mean you should go overboard and binge on the delicious foods that might make its way onto your plate. This isn't to say you can't 'splurge' a bit on some holiday goodies, but remember to balance that with healthy stuff too. Enjoy the yummy stuff, just not too much. Staying on track with your own personal dietary boundaries will help keep you feeling regular emotionally, mentally, and physically!
(Besides -- Everyone knows that a massive sugar spike can also impact your mood. We've all seen a child spin up and crash hard following a sugar binge....don't be that guy or gal).
If you have to pretend to 'be' anyone other than yourself, then you're really not enjoying the holiday season -- let alone relaxing. Putting on a show is a lot of work! Do the things you enjoy with the people you enjoy most, that's the best way to be your authentic self. If you have to attend a party or function where you feel you have to act like you're having fun, just limit how long you stay. Who knows you might actually have fun if you don't put too much pressure on yourself in advance.
Take a few moments as you wind down this year to reflect on one or two things you accomplished and are proud of. Sure we don't always do everything we planned or have some unfinished goals or dreams still on the bucket list but we all have a few moments we can be proud of, celebrate yours! Then take a few moments to focus on a few things you want for the new year. Don't be too hard on yourself if you didn't accomplish all you wanted to in 2018...a brand new year is just around the corner. Make it a great one!