Many people can get caught up in the busy rush and end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed. GIVE to yourself just as much as you give to others. Self-care is vital to maintain your energy and holiday cheer and it feels good! Remember you cannot drive a car that has no fuel. By giving to yourself, you actually have more to give to others. My favourite ways to unwind and recharge are indulging in a bubble bath or a good book. Don’t forget to use up your massage benefits before the end of the year. Recent research promotes massage therapy as having significant effects on enhancing mood in addition to its physical benefits.
We are overloaded with messages of consumerism. Many gifts come with a hefty price tag. SIMPLIFY. With economic times being tough, fight the pressure to spend more than you have. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Remember the best gift you can give anyone is the gift of your time.
If your relationship is in trouble or you are not connected to certain family or friends, the holidays seem to amplify feelings of loss and disconnection. LET GO of unhelpful guilt and give yourself permission to celebrate the holidays whatever way you want and with whomever you want. Honour your feelings and your needs.
It can be difficult to be expected to attend family gatherings when there has been a history of abuse or addiction issues. HONOUR your boundaries. Make a plan so that you do not feel trapped. Know that you do not have to do anything or go anywhere that feels unsafe or uncomfortable.
Often we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. STOP comparing yourself to others. You do NOT have to do it all. Focus your energy and attention on what is important to you.
The holidays can be a difficult time for people who have lost a loved one either from death or divorce. This time of year when family is celebrated may be a painful reminder of one’s own broken family or missing loved ones. It is NORMAL to have anniversary or trigger reactions especially around significant events where you may feel flooded with emotion. Talk to friends or family or a trusted professional about your feelings and plan ways to make the season special and to honour the memory of your loved one. If this is your first holiday on your own, create your own traditions and celebrate the new life ahead of you.
LIMIT your intake of alcohol, caffeine and fatty and sugary foods. Each of these substances can harm the body and affect our moods and interactions with others.
Get OUTSIDE and get ACTIVE. Physical activity and fresh air release important mood enhancing endorphins.
Finally do NOT isolate yourself if you are feeling especially vulnerable. Social support is a buffer against stress and depression. Whether it is within your own circle or through formal support, always remember you are not alone.
Why not invest in the people in your community this year and make a personal donation to our agency on behalf of loved ones for unique holiday gifts. Our clients thrive on the generosity of people like you!