No matter what you celebrate, we all have one thing in common this time of year: Stress. The holidays are arguably the best time of year, but that winter wonderland feeling doesn’t come without a price, and sometimes that price is your mental health.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with preparations for the holidays, take five minutes to read this blog. A few simple reminders can go a long way to keeping the peace in your mind and your home.
They say Santa makes a list and checks it twice and whether Old St. Nick visits your home or not, making a list is actually a great habit to develop. Writing down your shopping list or to-do list allows you to put your thoughts on paper and free up some of that valuable real estate within your mind. This lends itself to less worry as you no longer have to lay awake trying to remember, “What am I missing?” Once your thoughts are on paper, you have a visual of what you want and need to accomplish. Each time you cross one thing off you’ll feel fueled to complete another item.
Now that you’ve made your lists and you don’t have to toss and turn with worry, the next step is planning for sleep. Your to-do list may be 10 pages long but we all know how difficult it is to work when you’re sleep deprived. When you’re scheduling your holiday festivities, don’t neglect to plan for enough hours for the entire family to get restorative sleep, which is usually considered at least eight hours per night. This will help everyone fight off illnesses, have happier moods, and be more energized to tackle the day.
Creating a beautiful holiday display – food, decorations, or gift wrapping – can quickly become overwhelming. You may want your home to look like it jumped right out of your favorite magazine, but sometimes that’s not the case. Embrace imperfections. You’re doing the best you can with the tools you have. When things don’t go according to plan, celebrate the journey and find the beauty in making the memories exactly as they unfold. In the end, people will remember how they felt and the laughter they shared – not the perfectly wrapped gifts.
At the heart of every holiday lies a common theme: Togetherness. While this year has made physical closeness nearly impossible, there are still ways to come together for the holidays. Zoom meetings, Facetime, and Skype are a few of the common ways that families can still see and talk to each other despite being miles apart. Even if technology isn’t in your toolkit, you can still celebrate togetherness with handmade cards or drive by celebrations.
When you’re stressed, it’s easy to let the feelings overwhelm you and project it onto others. If you encounter someone who seems a little unpleasant, remember to be kind no matter what. This time of year is difficult for many people for many reasons, especially this year. Be mindful that you never know what others are experiencing in their personal lives. Choose to respond with kindness rather than react with anger. Not only will this make you feel better, but it could also change their entire holiday.
2020 has been a year unlike any other. With all of its challenges, we can all be proud of our resilience as individuals, families, and a community. This year has taught us that our health and our loved ones are more important than anything else. As your holiday approaches, we hope that you remember to celebrate this uncomfortable yet historical year. Celebrate the time spent together and the memories made this year that will be passed down through the generations.