While this is certainly “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”, for many of us, it is also the most stressful time of the year. Whether it is feeling too busy trying to keep up with the demands of the season, or just the short days and the weather. This time of the year can be very challenging. Here are a few strategies to keep your spirits merry, and avoid the Holiday Blue’s.
Beat the Holiday Blues: Set Reasonable Expectations
I start out the holiday season with all of the wonderful, amazing things I’m going to do. I’m going to build 20 different kinds of cookies. I’ll decorate my house beautifully enough to grace the cover of a magazine. My son’s birthday (smack dab in the middle of all of this) will be perfect, and not just a footnote of the season. Then, I’ll make everyone the perfect Christmas gifts! I’ll do all of this, and still be Merry and Bright…and not have a mid-season melt down.
What usually ends up happening, is we make a few goodies throughout the season. My house is beautifully decorated. Although, it’s not magazine worthy, it is full of love and memories. I have bought most of my Christmas gifts. We celebrate J’s birthday with cake, ice cream, and a few presents. And, I’ll send out my Christmas cards around the 23rd. By the time Christmas day rolls around, I’m ready for a movie marathon, and a pot full of Glühwein.
Every year, though, I start out the season with just insane expectations. I get all excited and caught up in having the “perfect” Christmas. Then, as the season wears on, I just get tired. Tired of the never ending “to do” list, and stack of projects. The worst part of this is that it is all Self Inflicted!
This year, I tried setting some more Reasonable Expectations. We have made some dietary changes this year, and just really don’t want to eat tons of sugar. So, that naturally cuts down on the baking. I gave up on the whole hand made Christmas gifts. I know that it’s not healthy for my stress level to have those kinds of deadlines. We shopped early, and are actually ahead of the game. Now, if I could just get to those Christmas Cards, I’d be set.
Beat the Holiday Blues: Take Care of Yourself
Between eating extra cookies that I don’t need, and stressing out over the to do list, I have to remember to take some time for me. This is something that I have to put some effort into.
This year, I’m being diligent with my morning meditation time. This helps keep my mind focused on the present moment, and not go wandering down the trail of should do’s, and to do’s.
Other than indulging in some extra holiday goodies, I’m making sure that I’m eating good, healthy foods. This year, my favorite go to is Mulligatawny Soup. It warms me up from the inside, and is full of aromatic healthy spices, such as Turmeric and Cumin. I add in a few extra veggies, and some meat to make it a more complete meal.
Lastly, I”m beating the Holiday Blues by I’m making sure to get out and get some fresh air and exercise. It hasn’t gotten too cold here yet, and I’ve made sure to take advantage of the weather to get outside. The sunshine helps greatly, as does the fresh air.
I know there are other pieces to the holidays that add to the stress. The expectations of others, from gift giving and receiving to attending stressful parties and functions. Only you can decide if participating is what you really need to do. Whatever you do though, relax and make the most of it.
This time of the year is also a very poignant time of the year, where we miss those who are not here with us. I know that those I miss would want me to get the most out of the season. That’s what I try to do.
Don’t let the Holiday Blues get you down! I wish you a very Happy Holidays!