The Holidays and your mental health
The holiday season is here and with that all the overwhelming and numbing feelings that come with seeing family during seasonal gatherings.
A couple years back We made the decision that if holidays brought any stress into our lives in any way then We would take time to ourselves and spend it together without a big crowd.
This season should be a joyful one and instead most people feel completely stressed over family time. Why? Because PERFECTION. We expect to have the most perfect holiday which the truth is that it will never be obtainable. No matter what your expectations may be something might not always go the way you plan. Why do we want this absolute perfect time? Why not understand that what is important is the people we enjoy the time with, the moments at the table catching up with each other instead of judging, the holiday lights and feast without drama, the days until the celebration where we can enjoy the season instead of dreading the grocery store aisles. The perfect moments should be made up of the little things that makes us happy. Snuggles with your new born, a game of dominos with your grandparents, a glass of wine with your best friend, movie time with your spouse, watching the parades with the kids, relaxing and unwinding...
We pass along our Holiday traditions but we also have the capacity to create new and more meaningful ones. It is completely ok to change plans every year if that is what your heart wants. It is ok to not attend that holiday party at your co-worker's house, it is ok to skip that tree lighting ceremony due to crowds, it is ok to stay in and do take out instead of a huge elaborate feast that will cause you to get overwhelmed.
Protecting your mental health should be a priority. I think it's time for people to understand that not everyone celebrates the same way, not everyone wants to go over board, not everyone wants the chaos. Because, honestly the holiday season is chaotic and humanity has created that chaos.
It is time to take back your power over this season and for you to celebrate in a way that brings you and your own happiness. Some people like the last minute shopping stress, some people like a big party for the holidays, some enjoy the crowds and a busy home but that is not everyone.
Keep in mind that wanting to spend a quiet holiday does not mean being alone, maybe have one or two people over, maybe enjoy a virtual talk with a friend, maybe stop by for half and hour to your parent's home then leave but communicate these feelings and plans before the day comes so everyone is aware and others can understand that them respecting your feelings will be appreciated and you are making yourself a priority.
The holidays bring a lot of pressure and we need to do what we can to make it an enjoyable and safe time for ourselves.
So, as you plan the days and month ahead before the end of the year, know that I am so proud of you for taking the steps needed to take care of yourself. Celebrate as you wish, take the time to enjoy on your own or with others as you see fit and most of all love all the little things the season brings!