When you think of the holidays, what comes to mind? Joyful times with friends and family? Loving support from the numbers of people who surround you? Or is your holiday a stressful time? Feeling everyone else experiencing the joy of the season other than you? Filled with worry about how you will get through another family dinner or deal with the financial blow gift buying can represent? Do you find yourself eating and drinking to excess and feeling worse for this overindulgence?
For many, the season is less Hallmark card joy and more horror story dread.
If you are one of the many people who find this time of year depressing or stressful, consider the following strategies:
- Be selective. If you are “fortunate” enough to have many invites and gifts expected during the holidays, remember, you don’t have to say “yes” to all. Choose a few (or less) individuals you want to give to or spend time with, and decline other invitations or activities.
- Take advantage of the season of “giving”. Consider volunteering or contributing to charities and drives during the stressful time. Despite feeling overwhelmed, volunteering actually gives you back more than you contribute. Feelings of value, recognizing there are others worse off, and the ability to make improvement in someone else’s lives are gifts that we give to ourselves as well. Sounds contradictory? Yes, but try it and see.
- Save something for yourself. Support and generosity towards others is a worthy and worthwhile goal. Just make sure you appear on your own todo list! Save some time and money and treat yourself! Take a walk on a beautiful sunny day (here in AZ we have some of the best weather in the country!). Breathe some fresh air. Take deep breaths and observe the scenery! Treat yourself to a gift of your own time. Do something you would like to do. (Just keep it within budget. Putting yourself in a stressful financial situation doesn’t help).
- Plan for the future. If 2018 is not the holiday season you want, what could you do to better prepare for a better 2019? Start thinking about goals for the new year. What is it you want in your life? If you’re having trouble figuring it out or making it happen, seek help.
Terri Kutchera is a Patient Consultant for Ketamine Wellness Centers