As we move past Thanksgiving and into the December holiday season, you may be among the many folks who find these celebrations stressful and anxiety provoking. That’s right, despite all the hoop-la and decorations, for many people the emotional intensity of the holidays may seem overwhelming.
Perhaps one of the following sounds familiar: Reminders of loss? Challenging family reunions? Fears of overeating? Financial distress? Isolation and loneliness? If you know you’re prone to the holiday blues, take heart in knowing you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to help you feel more in control and transition through this challenging time.
- Socialize or volunteer through a church or community center where you can be with others. Not only will this help you feel more connected, helping others raises our own sense of purpose.
- Exercise every day – either outdoors or at the gym. Working out is the best way to increase the natural endorphins that make us feel happier.
- Teach yourself some meditative belly breathing to center yourself when anxiety arises.
- Minimize your TV time and choose programs that are uplifting and make you laugh.
- Enjoy holiday foods but make sure you eat plenty of greens and fruits as well.
- Maximize self care – do things that make you feel good about yourself.
- Remember your friendship and kindness are the most important gifts you can give to others.
The good news is that in allowing ourselves to feel and share difficult feelings, we can move through them and live a more authentic and meaningful life. This is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.