No Need For A Merry Mental Breakdown
It’s official, the holidays are here! As the year winds down, we reunite with friends and family, enjoy each other’s company, and take a break from our usual obligations. I just cackled as I typed that last sentence. Does anyone else fell like the holidays are another job in themselves? Or perhaps you are one of the many people employed in seasonal work, and the middle of December marks the start of your busy season.
Regardless, the holidays have the power to completely derail our lives if we let them. Even while typing this, my fiancé interrupted me and asked for help putting away the larger-than-average grocery order to accommodate Thanksgiving. Of course, I have much to be grateful for, and my heart is with those who feel lonely or are grieving this year. The holidays can be challenging; if you’re struggling, know that you are not alone. No matter what you are dealing with, this month’s blog offers tips and advice for navigating the holidays.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and procrastinate on plans for the holidays. We all have busy enough lives as it is. Planning ahead can break a monumental task into several small tasks that easily incorporate into our regular schedules. Some tasks like grocery shopping will inevitably take longer, but save those big chores for a weekend or day off. Planning and getting things done early saves you from long lines at the grocery store or post office. Even if your holiday plan is to have no plan, it can be anxiety-reducing to remind yourself of your expectations and hopes for the holiday. This leads me to our next tip…
Say no if you need to say no. Sometimes it can feel like the number of holiday parties and activities are endless, or sometimes, it can feel like one holiday obligation is too many. Setting clear boundaries of what you can handle during the holidays will help protect your mental health. At the end of the day, that needs to be our first priority. Most people will likely understand a polite decline of an invitation, and if you’re met with that occasional family member who loves to push past boundaries, stand firm and trust your first instincts of where you stand mentally. It doesn’t have to be aggressive or rude, but perhaps just an “I think it is in my best interest to rest, and I’m sorry to miss it” will suffice. Moving from your center will help you show up better for the people in your life in the future.
Make A Budget
Sometimes the boundaries that need to be set are within ourselves. The holidays have been overrun by consumerism. 100 years ago, families were geographically closer. Making it to the dinner table was a matter of making a short distance. In 2021, with the remnants of a pandemic still affecting air travel, millions of people traveled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With inflation, gifts are more expensive, and there is an encouragement to overspend to ensure that the holidays are picture-perfect. All this comes at the cost of credit card debt and buyer’s remorse around the first week of January. And hey, if you want to spend big and can afford it, more power to you, but it might be wise to make a budget and avoid living outside your means. Remember every cheesy holiday movie’s plotline; the holidays are about being with loved ones and spending quality time, not gifts and expensive decorations.
Create A Little Peace
This is my favorite holiday stress reliever. Lights some candles, and turn on some good music. On a sunny day, sit out in the sun for ten minutes and get some vitamin D. Do the little things that will help you relax and lighten your mood. This can make doing the holiday chores or everyday things a little more joyful. Is it not the destination, it’s the journey, remember? So, why not make your journey smell like lavender candles and dance rather than walk! If you are struggling this holiday season, maybe the peace you need to create is to relieve yourself of any expectations. And, of course, we can’t forget our favorite way to create peace, booking a self-care treatment at Life Essentials Day Spa. As much as it can be fun to create our own joy, it is also crucial to communicate any feelings you are having difficulty managing.
If you are struggling, say something. It is certainly not always easy, but talking about your feelings can be powerful. It also helps the people you love to understand you and the reasoning behind your decisions. Especially if this is the first holiday with someone significant missing. Losing someone close to me made the holiday season almost unbearable, but talking about my favorite memories helped me move some of the pain stuck in my chest. However, if revisiting certain traditions is too much this year, asking friends or family to create new traditions can be a way of honoring your needs. Life can really knock us down, but bottling up our feelings breeds illness in the body. Being vulnerable can help us to move through the pain. If the pain is still too big, communicating the need for space might be all the communication needed. Don’t abandon your needs because of the holidays. The people who love you will understand.
Maintain Healthy Habits
This is a hard one for me. The second I add pumpkin to my coffee, and the air starts to smell like snow, I am ready to abandon all my healthy habits. Unfortunately, this only leads to feeling sluggish on opening day of ski season. Indulgence seems to be the theme of the holidays and a time of year when the gym membership gets neglected to make time for gift shopping and cookie baking. By the time New Year’s resolutions roll around, we try to erase the damage we’ve done over the holidays only to reaffirm the restrict and binge cycles that make maintaining a healthy lifestyle difficult. I always try to add more vegetables to my fall comfort favorites. When I feel like skipping exercise, I remember all the good feelings that come with moving my body. Maintaining healthy habits during the holidays can be challenging, but the physical and mental strength that comes with healthy decisions is the best gift you can give yourself. However, keeping up with good habits looks different for everyone!
Whether respecting different ways of celebrating the holidays or honoring someone’s need for space and solitude, we can all create a better holiday culture by respecting our differences. You never know what someone is going through or how someone was raised. The beauty of this world is that we are all so different. It breeds innovation and the ability to step outside our own perspectives. The holidays especially are a time of extra care and kindness. Keep judgments and assumptions out of the picture. Even if your weird uncle keeps encouraging them!
Take A Break
Take a bath, get out into nature, read a chapter in that fantastic book you’re reading, or watch a holiday movie to get in the mood. Taking a break is one way to avoid holiday burnout. If you are like me and can’t take breaks until the tasks are done, make sure you still do something nice for yourself at the end of the day. This goes back to enjoying the journey. When we are kind to ourselves, it is much easier to be kind to others.
Remember, you can always call us at Life Essentials Day Spa, and we will book a massage or facial to get you into some much needed relaxation. Especially with our new medical spa technology, we can get into your health even deeper. Schedule a microcurrent therapy session with our brand-new cellular technology. I highly recommend this if you are struggling mentally, as the electrical impulses change your brain’s wavelength to a relaxing delta wave. If you want to know more about this technology, check out our previous blog for a mini-science lesson. We will feature 3 microcurrent sessions for $150 which is $50 off its regular price for our Black Friday sale the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Happy Almost Holidays from all of us at Life Essentials Day Spa! We hope you take care of yourself this holiday season!