Here are a few ideas for staying in the holiday flow.
While images and advertisements for love and joy are transmitted in every form of social media, paper advertisement, and T.V. screen, the reality of the holidays and the winter season is not so cheerful!
In our fast-paced world, there is so much day to day stress that the holiday season along with dark, longer days with little sunlight for many adds a whole dimension to the “holiday blues”.
Work deadlines, losses of loved ones, changes in eating, drinking and sleeping habits, the stress of the perfect gift and let’s not forget the dysfunction of family and friend gatherings.
Celebrations and reminders of others happiness and joy can magnify our own losses, lack of love and happiness in our own lives. The months of December moving into February can be particularly hard for many having difficulties with relationship conflicts, break-ups, family losses, divorce, loneliness, chronic health issues and mental health issues.
Feeling of anxiety and depression along with negative or disruptive beliefs, thought patters and negative mood can affect many people.
The Holiday Blues are a very real occurrence!
Here are some suggestions for going in the flow, managing the blues and maintaining the holiday glow and cheer.
1. Know that life does not always go according to plan!
When you are experiencing a meltdown, stressed or just plain tired the child part of yourself gets activated. The activation is caused by something that has triggered you, an experience, smell, tone of a voice, particular words or phrases.
We often find we are transported to a place and time in our childhood where we did not get what we needed, were shamed, or were given the message that we were not loveable, not deserving and not enough to name a few examples of Not…. and filling in the blank.
This mantra helps you take a moment to pause, regulate, center and balance.
Gently inhale and exhale saying softly to yourself: I love you little one, I got you, I am holding you and loving you.
2. Make a list of the people and things you are thankful for
For example, having a few days off work, your favorite friend or family member that makes gathering together special.
I like to keep my list in bathroom on the back of the door or on the refrigerator door because I frequent theses areas throughout the day and it is a visual reminder.
3. Give Yourself permission to “Say NO”
Be mindful of this in your planning and try not to overextend yourself. It is okay to say no. It may not be the popular response but here is the golden nugget … you will take some of the pressure of yourself.
I often find that people are very resourceful when they need to be. You do not have to be the superhero who is constantly fixing or saving the day.
4. Physical activity/movement.
I cannot encourage you enough to get outside and take a few breaths of fresh air, go for a walk around your neighborhood block, do some stretching or yoga.
My personal favorite that my friend Julie taught me is Dance Party. Put your favorite dance music on and just allow yourself to move or dance around the house for a few minutes.
5. Time for Sleep.
Make sure that you are trying to stay on a consistent schedule by going to bed and getting up at the time every day. It is recommended that you try to get 8 hours of sleep.
6. Avoid sugar overload and drinking too much.
For those who have difficulty with depression these two activities can really enhance the symptoms of the “blues” even though we may not think they do. These two culprits really put an overload on our bodies to process. Moderation is the key.
7. Time Out.
I know this phrase is often reserved for children. It is important to give yourself permission to take your own time for some peace and quiet and to have a breather.
8. Treat Yourself.
Do something that helps you feel relaxed! Doodle, color, read, take a hot bath, get a massage or partake in some energy work. Do something that helps you feel the sensation of “AHHHH”.
Please remember to be good to yourself so you can enjoy everything that the holiday season has to offer. There are countless tools available to us all we need to do is use them.
Happy Holidays and may the new year bring you all an abundance of health, happiness and joy!