Not all of us greet the Christmas holiday with goodwill and cheer. I am often ready for it to be over when I see the Halloween decorations coming down. For some, the holiday takes an emotional toll on our spirits that doesn’t ring of cheer or happy.
I struggle with depression during the holidays, most especially if it’s been a rough year. I know that I’m not alone. Irrational expectations, money concerns, and the occasional holiday hazard can easily throw the best of us into a tailspin.
But it doesn’t have to be all-consuming and if we prepare ourselves, we can get ourselves through the season.
First, have a game plan. Be ready to take care of yourself as the end of the year descends on us. Include reading a book, or napping, into your schedule. Take time for you. Self-care is the best care because you know best what you need. Make you a priority.
Next, ready yourself for family conflict and avoid it. It’s okay to say no to discussions that will get your bra straps twisted. Tell family to bring it to you in the New Year and avoid it then, too. Keep your person on speed dial in case you need a sympathetic ear and let them know you may need them. They’ll be there.
No one has a perfect holiday so don’t be fooled into thinking yours has to be. It doesn’t. If decorating or buying gifts overwhelms you, don’t do it. Delegate if you have people willing to take on the tasks. Make a list of what makes you happy this time of the year and just do that if it will make it easier for you.
If you are mourning a loved one, talk about your feelings or reach out to a support group. Just don’t think you have to endure it alone. Unless you just want to. It’s okay to feel whatever you might be feeling, and you don’t owe anyone an apology for how you feel.
Rest, rest and rest well. Don’t let holiday activities disrupt your sleep schedule. Maintaining a schedule that insures you get sleep will work wonders for your body and your spirit.
Lastly, just focus on what matters. The rest will take care of itself, or not. Worrying about it won’t change the outcome, so don’t. And remember, NO is a complete sentence that requires no further explanation. Tis the season to do what’s important for your well-being.