The holidays are a wonderful time for family, friends, and fun. But they can also be a time of stress, anxiety, and even grief. If you're feeling anything other than happiness this holiday season, you're not alone. Here's a look at some of the most common emotions people feel during the holidays that bring them down—and how to deal with them. I have felt each one of these at different times and know how much they can affect your life.
Anxiety is one of the most common emotions people feel during the holidays. There are a lot of things that can contribute to holiday anxiety: financial stress, family dynamics, unrealistic expectations, and more. If you're feeling anxious this holiday season, there are a few things you can do to ease your mind.
First, try to set realistic expectations for yourself and your loved ones and communicate your expectations. The holidays don't have to be perfect—in fact, they rarely are. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to create an Instagram-worthy Christmas or host the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, focus on enjoying quality time with your loved ones.
Second, make a budget and stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and going into debt—which can add to your anxiety. Make sure you are on the same page with your spouse by communicating and making a plan.
Third, take some time for yourself. Whether it's taking a long walk in the park, getting a massage with essential oils, or simply taking a few minutes to meditate each day, find ways to relax and de-stress. This can be hard when there is so much to be done, but even a few minutes to breathe deeply can make a difference.
The holidays can be especially tough if you've experienced a loss recently. Whether it's the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or something else entirely, grief can put a damper on even the happiest of holidays. If you're grieving this holiday season, allow yourself to feel all the feels—sadness, anger, loneliness, etc. It's okay not to be okay during the holidays. Loss leaves a hole that cannot be filled.
First, reach out to your support system—whether that's family members, close friends, or a therapist—for help getting through this tough time. And if you need some extra support, there are plenty of grief support groups available both in person and online. Just having someone to express your feelings to can make all the difference. If your grief leads you down too far and you are in need of emergency help, 988 is the new 3 digit National Suicide & Crisis hotline. You can also use the number: 1-800-273-8225.
Second, do things that bring up good memories of your lost loved one, or something that will honor their memory. This can be donating to their favorite charity, making their favorite cookies, or setting out one of their cherished decorations. Remember the good times.
Third, think of ways you can bring happiness to others. Many times, when we step out of our troubles and focus on serving others, it helps lessen the emotional burden. We can be a blessing to others who are going through tough times, too. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, take food or supplies to the homeless, or visit your lonely elderly neighbor.
Like anxiety, stress is common during the holidays. There are many things that can contribute to holiday stress: cooking large meals, hosting out-of-town guests, traveling long distances, attending festive parties—the list goes on and on! If you're feeling stressed this holiday season, there are several things you can do to ease your mind.
First and foremost: don't try to do it all! Delegate tasks whenever possible so you're not carrying the entire load yourself.
Reach out for help when you need it! Don't be afraid to ask your family members or friends for assistance with cooking dinner or wrapping presents—they'll likely be happy to help!
Second. make time for self-care! Whether it's taking a relaxing bath with essential oils before bedtime or squeezing in a workout at the gym (even if it's just 20 minutes), find ways to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Third, remember the reason for the holidays! Remember that Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and find things daily that you are thankful for. Remember that Christmas celebrates the birth of our Savior and that He came to save us all. He came to save YOU because He loves you!
No matter what emotions you are feeling this holiday season—anxiety, grief, stress—know that you're not alone. There are plenty of people who are feeling exactly what you're feeling—and there are plenty of resources available to help you get through it. From setting realistic expectations to making time for self-care, there are lots of things you can do to ease your mind and enjoy the holiday season despite whatever challenges come your way.
Reach out. As someone who has acutely felt each of these emotions during the holidays, I know how you feel. If you'd like to join a supportive group of women learning and working on creating healing homes, and holistic lifestyles, visit us at Holistic Super Moms FaceBook page.
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