Yikes. The holidays. For some, it can be the hardest time of the year. Rather than bringing cheer, the holidays can trigger harsh memories, isolate you, or stir unrealistic expectations. And we all have good intentions to enjoy the occasion, but instead, we end up adding more pressure to ourselves, making us even more anxious and unhappy.
The most important thing to know is that you’re not alone. We all have our version of the holiday blues: trauma, illness, loss of a loved-one, a recent breakup, relationship issues, financial stress, or other high pressure situations. These are all legitimate reasons for hating the holidays. We can’t deny that what we’re going through is very real, but we can accept it and manage how we deal with the holiday blues.
Here’s are some powerful, yet simple and overlooked doses of self care remedies that can help you beat the holiday blues.
#1 – Don’t get too caught up with the dates on the calendar.
Remember that the holidays are just days within the 365-day calendar year. Don’t attach too much importance on holiday dates. In other words, remove the pressure. Participating in holiday festivities s is a wonderful gift that we shouldn’t take for granted, but by the same token, don’t get too wrapped up in in the pressure.
#2 – Don’t believe the social media hype.
Don’t use someone else’s selfies as a standard of happiness. It’s important to spread the holiday cheer and to genuinely reflect happiness to others. But sometimes social media can be taunting, misleading, and incomplete. Don’t get too hung up on what you see. We each have our unique stories. Beware of the negative influence that media can bring and don’t let the hype define your happiness.
#3 – Get Exercise.
Even simple movements to get your blood flowing during the cold and during moments of depression can reap benefits to your overall mental wellness. Do an exercise video, visit a local yoga studio, or take a walk. Get good rest and keep yourself hydrated.
#4 – Spend time with people who bring you good energy.
First, know that it’s okay to take space from those who bring you down. On the contrary, make the conscious effort to hang with people who contribute value to your life. Maybe that’s your best friend from college, your sister, next-door neighbor, or an acquaintance you met at the gym.
If part of your holiday blues is not having anyone to share the holidays with, then challenge yourself to find a community you can involve yourself in. This part may be a longer-term fix, but do recognize your part to take responsibility for this area in your life, if being un-lonely is what you wish.
#5 – Set reasonable expectations for yourself and don’t overbook your time just to please others.
It’s one thing to be giving of your time, when you have yourself to give, but it’s another thing to be stressed out in front of your loved ones, and spin your wheels just for the sake of the holidays. Instead, find the balance between giving to others and nurturing yourself.
#5 – Eat healthily.
When you’re depressed, it’s easy to binge on fast-food and spiral into sweet and salty cravings. There are a lot of leading arguments for why too much refined sugar can contribute to depression and anxiety. When you’re minding what you put in your body, you’re also practicing self-care. This quick advice is not just for the holidays, but for your everyday.
#6 – Find ways to be helpful to others.
One way you can manage your own depression and stress is by helping others. If you have the physical capacity and are able to carve the time, look for meaningful ways to be helpful to your family members, friends, or your local community. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. If you have the wherewithal, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and contribute your skills and time to others.
#7 – Focus on gratitude.
Make a concerted effort to be grateful. This can increase your well-being and life satisfaction, According to UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. He argues that even writing brief reflections on gratitude in a journal can make a big difference. When you focus on the positive things in your life, you are rewiring your brain to see things more positively. Likewise, if you continue to find strife and negativity in your situation, you will never get out of your negative zone. Focus on things that you can be grateful for.
The magic of the holiday season lies in its power to renew and reset. It serves as a great time to reset, reflect on life, self, family and all the things around you. This holiday season, push through the blues by managing through it. Practice self-care, don’t feel beat because you feel the holiday blues. Push through it with positive intention.
About Travis Etheridge
Travis, the co-owner of The Insurance Alliance, joined the insurance industry in 2011. He is married to his lovely wife Anica, and has an amazing son Henry. Travis is passionate about helping people, so the insurance industry is a natural fit. The thing he loves most about the industry is being there for his clients at their most trying times. He believes everyone is an individual and they deserve an individual plan best suited for their situation.