The Holidays are Tricky Sometimes…

Some of us can kick it into gear easily and ride the wave from Halloween all the way through to New Years with all of the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with picking out the perfect presents for our loved ones and decorating our homes to emulate Christmas cheer–but it’s not like that for everyone (including me). Ever since 2015, the Holidays have been tough for me. I used to LOVE Christmas time and everything that came along with it… I was honestly a tornado of Christmas cheer, spreading joy. but after the loss of our only daughter (and the first Christmas after her passing) I knew this time of year would always be bittersweet.

As the weather finally begins to cool and both Halloween & Thanksgiving are officially in the books, you’re probably already seeing lots of Holiday decorations in your social media feeds. Some of you may have foregone the usual gatherings for Thanksgiving and may be wondering if you’ll get to see or spend in-person time with family at all this year due to concerns surrounding COVID… which makes the holidays feel even more emotionally turbulent. I wanted to take a moment to say that if this time of year brings you more anxiety than cheer, I SEE YOU! 🧡

Here are a few tips to help if you are feeling more stress than cheer these days…

1. Maintain a regular routine. This is a BIG one, as changing up your routine can lead to anxiety and stress for many people even when it isn’t the holiday season!

2. Think moderation. Just like maintaining a regular routine, try and do the same with your diet and exercise routines. If you like to take walks, continue to do so. If you want to indulge a bit on holiday sweets, do so, just try not to go crazy! We all know that putting too much sugar or alcohol into our bodies can cause us to feel icky at times which, again, can lead to more stress or even feelings of guilt from overindulging.

3. Be realistic and throw guilt out the window–especially this year! It is easy to have an idealized version of what they holidays should look like based on advertisements, catalogs, and social media which can then lead to disappointment with our “real life” experiences don’t seem to match up. Remember, no one has the “perfect” holiday–or the perfect family for that matter! Don’t put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be “full of Christmas cheer” 24/7. Give yourself a break and show yourself some grace this holiday season. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get those Christmas cards out to all 127 members of your extended family!

I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.

-Ellen Griswold: Christmas Vacation

4. Stay connected–even if it isn’t in-person! Be sure to make time to call friends and family or even set up a Zoom call with relatives to check in and have some time to connect this holiday season! Don’t be afraid to ask for support if you need it!

5. Ask for help OR …Just say no. In case you needed the reminder, it is ALWAYS okay to say no when you’re asked to do more than you can manage–physically, emotionally or otherwise! It is easy to pile too much on our plates over the holidays and it is okay to say no or to ask for help from family and friends!

6. Be good to yourself. If you’re feeling down, take some time for yourself. Remember, this is your holiday, too! If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a walk or spend time alone reading a good book or listening to some music. You are allowed to be there for yourself, just like you try to be there for everyone else.

Be sure to give yourself grace when you’re feeling down and know that you are NOT alone. I’m always here to connect with you if you need it. Seriously! If you ever just need to share or vent, you can always reach out on social media and I will always be here to respond and help in any way I can!

2020 has been a MESS of a year and all we can do is be the best person we can be, take things one day at a time, show kindness to others when given and chance, and ensure we are practicing self-care when we need it the most!

Sending SO MUCH LOVE to all of you this holiday season!!

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