The holidays are here!
Granted, they've been here since last month, but still. I love the holidays; the world as a collective whole takes time off to be with family and friends. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, how you spend that time, or what fun shennanigans your animals get into, it's not impossible to slip into the dreaded holiday blues zone.
The holiday blues. Some people get them before the holidays, as they begin to look at all of the things they have to do and plan, some people get them during due to missing family or various other reasons, and some people get them after the season because, well, it's always bittersweet to leave the festivities behind! For many people who already manage mental health issues, it can be even more of a challenge. Did I also mention all of this is happening in a pandemic?
Whatever category you may fall in to, I compiled a little list of things that help me personally before/during/after the holidays! Shoutout to these various resources for additional ideas and help.
1. Identify (and accept!) your needs and limitations.
You can do it all... but you'll be half-assing most of it. (And this is coming from me, the self-proclaimed do-it-all queen!) Take some time and identify the things that stress you out, and then accept that it makes you feel this way.
Picking gifts for every aunt and uncle got you frazzled?
That inevitable call to the parents got you messed up?
While there are some things you can't avoid, understanding that these things freak you out will help you find steps to manage that stress ahead of time so you can be more relaxed (and in the moment!)
2. Come up with a game plan.
Here is the fun part! You get to figure out what you can do to calm yourself down and smooth those gorgeous ruffled feathers of yours!
Does planning that annual dinner make you anxious? Try delegating some tasks to other family/friends.
Picking gifts for every aunt and uncle got you frazzled? Ask them for a list to help narrow it down!
That inevitable call to the parents got you messed up? Plan a block of time to talk with them, and let them know ahead of time.
The list goes on and on! Don't forget: you're not alone! So use that fancy cell phone or laptop and ask for help!
3. Plan for some self-care time.
I recently started really enjoying long soaks in the bathtub. I really wasn't a bathtub kind of person until this year! So for me, I bought some trial sizes of relaxing bath salts that I plan on using when I'm done with my last set of family/friend calls on Christmas night and New Year's day. Just knowing I have that little bit of time built in to my schedule to decompress makes me feel more relaxed! Find your ''bathtub'' equivalent and plan it out!
4. Have a quiet moment.
Lucky enough to see family and friends? Or maybe you're keeping it low key and spending time with a furry friend or significant other. No matter how you're spending this time, take a moment and just look around you: how wonderful is it that you're alive right now and able to see the beauty around you? Look at the smiles on peoples' faces, your cat's really funny looking sleeping position, or the light flickering in your significant other's eyes while you're watching a movie. Take some mental photographs, and smile!
The holidays are here, and we are all in this together! When the world returns to semi-normal, don't forget to take care of yourself during the holidays. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year!