This year has seen it’s share of ups and downs internationally, nationally and personally. With Christmas approaching, we may find ourselves more stressed out than ever. We could find ourselves grieving this Christmas in different ways. No matter what is going on, most people would describe the Christmas/New Year season as one of busyness and often, stress. Here are 4 ways you can de-stress this holiday season and enjoy it.
One of the easiest ways to reset our brains is to focus them on what is going well in our lives. Often, we spend a lot of time forward thinking which can create anxiety. Or, we might tend to be more backward thinking which can lead to depressive thinking. Instead, try and focus on what is going well right now. Imagine that you woke up tomorrow only with what you were thankful for yesterday. Humbling isn’t it? We have so much and should spend more time in gratitude. Join our December challenge and write down 3 things each day you are thankful for.
Commit to spending more time this holiday season being with those around you. Limit social media and screens. Do something together outside. Make a gingerbread house or Christmas craft. Do some holiday baking. Whatever you choose, be fully present. Living in the moment with those with you can greatly decrease stress because we move away from everything that has happened or needs to happen and lets us just be present.
I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas traditions, decorations, and cooking. They are great things but can also be imperfect. When I “need” everything to be perfect, I rob myself and those around me of the gratitude and presence of the joy of the season. Nothing is perfect! Sometimes there is laughter and joy in the imperfect. We are also modeling for our children that even if something is not perfect, it still has value. You don’t need the perfect gift, perfect meal, perfect decorations, or perfect gathering for the season to be meaningful and beautiful. Evaluate yourself and see if your need for perfection reaches outside of the holiday season. Do you need control and perfection in other areas? Many times, this is an anxiety response. What are you scared is going to happen if you are not in control or everything is not perfect?
Don’t abandon healthy habits
Lastly, don’t abandon those things which you know help you other times in the year feel your best. If you typically get 8 hours of sleep, workout and try and eat healthy, try and keep doing those things. Sometimes routines can be different around the holiday and that is okay but try and find time to do things which you know are beneficial for you spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. If you do “fall off the wagon”, do not despair. Our bodies, minds, and hearts are more resilient than we sometimes give them credit for. Make a commitment to restart some of those healthy habits today.
Our therapists at Foundations Family Therapy are here to help you find those healthy habits, identify any anxiety responses, ways to practice being present, and practicing gratitude in every day life. This holiday season can be sweet, meaningful and special. We are here to help if you need us!