Stress, sadness and depression are always difficult, but can easily be exaggerated in December, so self care is essential. Daylight is (much, depending on where you live) shorter. Commitments and expectations are increased as the holidays and end of year approach. Time fills so quick with parties, last-minute job tasks, baking, shopping, seeing people—the list goes on.
For me, this entire year has had its challenges. Personal time with myself and others has been pushed aside while trying to focus (mostly unsuccessfully) on other things. I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to give myself and my relationships more time recently.
When I’ve do that—be it in the form of a vacation, family event, happy hour with people I don’t often see or getting together with like-minded women—it has felt so rare and special. Every time it’s refilled my emotional tank and I walk away realizing I’m not taking enough time for this. Life’s too short.
With quality time being my primary love language, I’ve spent too much time and tears this year feeling sadness, guilt and anger for not making quality time for myself and the important people in my life. That is not OK.
Ways I’m Focusing on Self Care
This holiday season I’ve given myself permission to drop all non-essential things, be in the moment and focus on connections. I’ve tried to make this season as stress-free as possible. How?
- Finding the most simple recipe for a cookie exchange when I know I’m not a baker
- Buying a lot of wine at once so I can grab a bottle from the cabinet for at-hand hostess gifts
- Only saying yes to things that are important to me
- Trying to get people to forgo gifts (shopping and finding personal gifts is very stressful for me) and spend quality time (my love language) with them
- Simplifying shopping by doing it online or shipping to store
- Focusing on making memories
- Focusing on self care, including working out, resting, drinking lots of water and using essential oils
Are you feeling disconnected from what the holidays are about? Don’t deny your feelings, focus on how and why you feel that way.
The Mayo Clinic offers ways to cope with difficult times during the holidays, including:
- Be realistic
- Stick to a budget
- Say no
How are you handling all the holidays throw your way?
There is nothing wrong with sitting things out. Your personal health is the most important thing. I’ve had much more difficult years than I am having this year, and I learned so much to help get me through the hard times. If you need more help, please seek it. The National Suicide Prevention LIfeline is available online or by calling 800-273-8255