It’s the holiday season; a time for the hustle and bustle gift shopping, decorating the tree, holiday parties and being with family and friends.
STOP….REWIND….That doesn’t sound like your version of this holiday season? Hello, I am Deborah De Vita, President of E3LifeCoach. And my message for you today is this -
DON’T GET YOUR TINSEL IN A TANGLE!
The Christmas/Hanakkuh Season can be a time of stress - chaotic shopping malls filled with irritable shoppers; feelings of loss - remembering loved ones who are no longer with us; and disappointment - not being able to afford the items we see displayed all around us.
Around this time of year, many people experience holiday blues: headaches, trouble sleeping, fatigue, restlessness, boredom, and an overall feeling of sadness. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to lift your spirits and enjoy the holiday season. I made some changes to a well-known Christmas poem to demonstrate what I am talking about.
(Poem Rendition by Deborah De Vita*)
’Twas the season of Christmas*, when all through my mind ran feelings of sadness and crazies, in kind. The Christmas tree in the corner quite bare, in hopes that I’d perk up and begin to care.
“This time of year should be joyous”, I said with despair, “filled with family and friends, but I somehow don’t care.” I want to be jolly and merry and gay. I need to accept Christmas crazies and whisk them away.”
The holiday blues leave me anxious and sad. I feel lonely and cranky and a little bit mad. I stuff all my feelings with gingerbread men, expecting that to make me feel glad again.
Enough with this moping and feeling so glum. Fill your stocking with blues enders like a bubble bathtub. Do this and I tell you feeling better will come. Reel in expectations, there’s no perfect season. Say good-bye to your Grinch - you have good reason!
On Frazzle, on Stressball, on Hurried and More!* Oh, these aren’t your reindeers? Then release them - show them the door. You‘ll feel merrier when Christmas doesn’t just come from a store.
Use the following ways to beat holiday blues and you’ll soon see that you say, “Merry Christmas y’all. I love the Season this way.
*Adapted from Clement Clarke Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas; Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas; and words from an unknown author.
Tips To Beat The Holiday Blues
- Take time to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas/ Hanukkah -
Bringing your focus to the true purpose of the religious celebrations
during this December holiday season creates a sense of inner peace and
thankfulness for what we have.
- Stock up on sanity savers -
- Use forms of self-care like taking a hot bubble
bath or calling a good friend help when you become anxious. They help
you maintain a more peaceful perspective. By thinking about these
soothing activities ahead of time, you will know what to do when stressful.
- Reel in expectations -
There is no perfect Holiday season, don’t expect
one. Be honest with yourself about what is reasonable to expect of
yourself. Marelisa Fabrega, Daring to Live Fully, suggest avoiding the
- Don’t commit to cooking a seven-course Christmas dinner all by yourself.
- Don’t accept every party invitation if you’d rather spend some time alone with your partner/spouse.
- Don’t feel obligated to give a present to you cousin whom you haven’t seen in the past five years. Pace yourself and get enough rest
- Check your motives at the door -
Give friends and family gifts with
ribbons on them, but no strings attached. You will benefit more from the joy
of giving than the person on the receiving end of your “giving”.
- Own your inner Grinch -
- If exchanging gifts with your friends leaves you
feeling cranky and out-of-sorts because it feels like you always give more
than you receive, set a spending limit or call a truce on personal gift-giving.
You may feel better because you don’t worry that your Christmas gifts are
- Break with tradition -
Don’t do the same stressful thing over and over
again and expect a different outcome ( That is Albert Einstein’s definition of
insanity). If you don’t enjoy going to New Year’s Eve parties, create your own
tradition by yourself (a day of self-pampering, reading, music, relaxation, your
choice. You will soon look forward to this new tradition each year.
- Be mindful for goodness sake -
Beware of how the holidays can affect
your mood. If you find yourself eating to “comfort” you, stock up on healthy
snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Place something like a big question
mark ? on the refrigerator and pantry doors. If your answer is that you are
really hungry, eat a little bit. If your answer is that you are feeling anxiety, go
back to Tip 1 ideas.
- Everything in moderation -
Avoid indulging in holiday food and/or
alcohol. While they may temporarily ease the holiday blues, they can also lead
to feelings of guilt and remorse.
- Keep a regular schedule -
Maintain your body’s sense of balance and
well-being. Do not drastically alter your daily routines. This can lead to extra
stress for you. Try to wake up at the same time, exercise as usual, eat as
normally as you possibly can, and go to sleep at the same time.
- Focus on today, not yesterday -
Holidays often take us back to our
childhood memories and patterns, particularly with family members. When
this happens, try to step back and remember who you are now. It is not
necessary to resume the same role as you did when you were younger. If
someone is around whose frame of reference about you is what you are like
today, reach out to them and draw them into the conversations and
interactions. This will help to ground you.
- Throw guilt out the window -
Give yourself a break this holiday season. Try
not to place unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, or even to enjoy
- Stay connected -
Make it a point to spend time with special friends and/or
family who value you. If they don’t live close by, call them for a reality check.
Remember to ask for support if you need it. They will be there for you!
- Be good to yourself -
If you are feeling down/blue, pamper yourself. Do
something that feels good to you. Allow some time or a walk or spend time
alone nurturing your senses (a nature walk, listening to music, reading,
cooking, enjoying art, etc.)
- Just Say NO! -
Give yourself permission to say No, a true gift to yourself.
Remember, it’s your holiday, too.
- Get active the morning after -
The day after the holiday, do something
active like a brisk walk, light jog or swim will help work off those extra sweets
and second helpings you may have eaten. Getting active will help you feel
normal again, neutralize any holiday blues and repair some of the damage
you have done to yourself.
- Start a Christmas tradition of your own -
If you find yourself alone for
Christmas, start a new tradition. Here are just a few ideas for you:
- Get up early and make your favorite breakfast baked goodie.
- Plan a FaceTime/Skype call with your family or friends in distant places. Watch each other open presents.
- Go caroling
- Do some outdoor, fun activity like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, etc.
- Travel to someplace that you have never been before.
- Offer to baby-sit for your friends/family so they can get their Christmas shopping done.
- Give of yourself, volunteer your services to help others less fortunate than you:
- Local food bank
- Homeless shelters
- Sponsor a needy child and/or family. Buy them gifts, food, etc. If you don’t know how to do this, check with the local Social Services Department, local school or church.
- Don’t forget the elderly who may also be all alone during this holiday season
- Perform a random act of kindness. Doing for others will surely boost your mood and help you to shake off the Christmas/holiday blues.