It seems like everyone around us is full of Holiday cheer… the neighbors, the kids, almost all of our friends and every sappy Holiday movie on Lifetime television. But you may not be quite so merry and bright. The holidays can also be very emotional and filled with mixed or even negative memories. Many of us are no longer surrounded by all of our loved ones or we may be dealing with substantial stressors from a variety of sources. In short, the Holidays can be rather unhappy.
Please remember to take care of yourself this Holiday season … truly take time for self-care. Try and keep your fitness as a priority; cardio and strength training are excellent outlets for stress and exercise is truly a gift you give yourself daily. Continue to maintain a healthy diet by, at the very least, limiting your intake of sugar. This will help reduce blood sugar highs and lows which can impact mood. Try to also self-soothe without food. Over-eating, indulging in excessive sweets, and mindless eating often leads to additional negative feelings of guilt, anger, frustration etc. Finally, focus on activities that are enjoyable. Take time, even short bursts of time, to engage in activities you truly enjoy such as reading, taking bubble baths, going for a walk, doing a jigsaw puzzle, playing games on your phone! Spend time with your friends, family, and pets and cherish the people who are still with us. Alternatively, take time to volunteer (the possibilities are endless) and find happiness through helping others. Find joy in the small moments and look to appreciate what is around you.
Before I start to sound too much like a greeting card commercial, please remember that you are not alone. You are not alone in your sadness during the Holidays or your loneliness or your anxiety. You are not alone in wanting to give your kids every item on their list and yet not knowing how you will afford even one item. You are not alone in wishing someone who has passed away was here with you now. You are not alone even if you are spending the Holidays alone this year.
Before the Holidays become overwhelming, to help the Holidays not become overwhelming, truly take care of you! Caring for yourself is the greatest gift of all.