by: Lindsay Chisholm, LCSW
If you feel like the holidays are not always The Most Wonderful Time of the Year and the Nights are not so Silent, you are not alone. Managing the expectations, obligations, and Fa La La of the holidays can be physically, emotionally, and financially exhausting. Experiencing and expressing these feelings can be challenging when those around you appear to be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Here are some strategies you can utilize and sing when life’s expectations and challenges impede on your Winter Wonderland.
1. O’ Come All ye Faithful. Ask for Help. If you are overwhelmed with all the tasks that await you at work and outside of work, ask yourself… Are there tasks you can solicit others to assist you with? Are there tasks on your list someone in your life excels at and enjoys doing? By asking for help you can conserve your energy and connect with others. Unless there is a holiday miracle, we all have limits and our energy is not endless.
2. Home for the Holidays. Make it Simple. Buy gift certificates, shop online, choose not to entertain, share responsibilities, give yourself and others permission to say no.
3. Joy To The World. Laugh often. Not only does it burn calories, research shows it raises the level of infection fighting antibodies causing your immune system to grow stronger. Tell jokes, listen to music, watch funny movies, wear an ugly sweater, take time to engage in activities that bring you joy!
4. Do You Hear What I Hear? It is the sound of the Breath. Breathe deeply through the holidays. When we intentionally focus on our breath, we can reduce stress and anxiety by becoming present. A good time to focus on your breath is when you walk from your car into your destination, while sitting at your desk, before you go to sleep and before you start your day. There is no right or wrong time to breathe! The emotional and physical benefits to conscious breathing are numerous.