Holidays are often associated with family, laughter, and caroling; but in reality, they are not necessarily all cheer. Regardless of the phase of life you are in – every holiday season is different – and it’s arguable that the last few have not been like any other than before.
In the midst of the holiday season, use these tips to thrive and keep your expectations in check:
- Sometimes it’s a relief to get a break from the routine of work, life, school, etc. – for others this change can be a difficult transition from the structure of routine weeks. Take the time to reflect on your hopes and expectations for this time with the acknowledgement there is no “right way” to feel over the holidays – realistically, it’s likely a mix of everything that changes day to day or even hour by hour.
- Social media is everywhere and can be a great connecting force, but it also perpetuates the image of the holiday season as an idyllic, perfect time of year with nothing to stress about. This isn’t reality – in fact, the holidays are rarely perfect for anyone. While a great time of year, there are many factors that can be stressful, from family drama to missing loved ones, ongoing uncertainty, and everything between.
- Give yourself permission to opt out of tasks or events that you don’t want to do. Try to keep the celebration simple. If you aren’t in the mood for hosting, grab a cup of coffee with friends or go for a walk down a decorated part of town.
- The holidays can be financially challenging. Don’t feel obligated to go on a spending spree to get everyone you know an expensive gift. Get creative – write a meaningful card, give a friend a plant, or simply spend some quality time with friends and family.
- Work within your comfort zone. With ongoing uncertainty, travel, large gatherings, and even smaller family gatherings can increase stress (beyond the normal holiday levels), including the stress from risk of exposure to COVID. Do your best to both clearly state your comfort level as well as ask those around you about their comfort level to avoid any misalignments.
- Don’t forget to take time for yourself
- Don’t over plan
- Accept what you cannot change
- Do your best to be open and accepting of others
- Be true to your values
- Remember, it can be stressful time for everyone else, too!
*If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, request an appointment with one of our professional mental health providers at Diversus Health today. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.