Winter holidays can be a time that many are looking forward to as exciting and fun as they can be. Usually, holidays are seen as a time of sparkling lights, family, delicious food, and maybe even gift-giving. It’s a time perceived as spreading cheer, gathering with the people we care about and enjoying quality time.
However, as we approach the holiday season, at times the expectations and holiday tasks can create unwanted stress or anxiety. Holidays aren’t always a perfect or easy time for everyone. Sometimes there can be grief, family conflicts, financial stress, or exhaustion involved in this season. That’s why when preparing for the holiday season, it would be beneficial to include planning for one’s mental well-being as well.
Imagine making the same preparations and efforts for your mental health over the holidays as you make for other holiday preparations.
1. Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Evaluate the traditions you truly enjoy and try to change the ones that aren’t serving a fulfilling purpose to you or others anymore. What could be done instead and what new traditions could be more enjoyable?
2. Delegate tasks and errands. Avoid taking all the responsibilities for yourself and delegate different tasks and errands to others if needed. Is gift-giving necessary or a wanted tradition? What are the ways to cut corners to decrease some stress and feel better?
3. Be compassionate towards yourself and others. Remember that no family is perfect, so accepting if everything doesn’t go the way you imagined is a great approach for spending time together. Also, notice when you need to rest or take a break from the holiday hassles.
4. Be mindful and tune in to your own feelings and needs. Your positive experience of the holiday season can be enhanced by self-validation and prioritizing fun and meaning in your behavior.
5. Try identifying your stressors. If you can identify specific stressors or unhealthy avoidance strategies that you might have, you can make better choices in facing them or preparing for them this season.
Whether you would prefer to spend the holidays alone or with more people, there is no one ideal-looking holiday nor a right or wrong way to spend your winter season. Thus, whatever suits you the best for your holiday should be your way of spending it. This way you also practice being mindful of your needs and joy.