'Tis The Season To Be Jolly... Easier said than done!
This time of year is filled with extra commitments and stressors. Some people are facing the holidays without that special person due to loss of a relationship or death; others are worried about spending time with certain family members or have insecurities about their ability to do things like cook, entertain, gift and socialize; while others have a fear of disappointing. We all have a story and often the holidays see us slowing down, hopefully taking some time away from our busy routines, but perhaps overwhelmed with the unknowns of the season. Everyone finds their own unique tools to cope with stress or anxiety.
Here are a few of my favourites...
- Find humour in the holiday madness, parking lots, traffic and in law vibes, crazed children and packed stores. Does it really matter that I got cut off by a stressed-out shopper?
- We all talk about the holiday season being about “relationships”. Hold yourself accountable—science shows relationships are the key to happiness! Ask yourself: “How can I use the holidays to strengthen my relationships with others?”
- Choose to commit to less. It gives more energy for the more important part: friends and family.
- Don’t neglect your significant other in an effort to make your kids happy. Make time for an adult-only date during the holidays.
- If you cannot be with loved ones during the holidays, make plans to celebrate together another time.
- If you’re lonely or grieving, abandon old customs. Experiment with a different culture’s customs, invite an isolated colleague over and start a new tradition.
- Focus on having “full conversations”, not on material goods. Enjoy the now of being in the same place with those who bring you happiness. It’s not about the presents, it’s about the presence.
- Let go of anything that feels like a drain; such as Christmas cards, extravagant meals or gifts. Remember, it’s all about the time together: talking, laughing and sharing.
Anxiety can be tricky; often posing as physical, health related symptoms. Take the time to be assessed by a professional and remember, anxiety can be cured!
Submitted by Keri Humphries, a Counsellor at HealthWORX Medical Clinic in Medicine Hat, AB.