The holiday season is one that is full of a mixture of feelings and emotions, ranging from excited & happy, to stressed and overwhelmed, to depressed and sad. These emotions vary from person to person, and the level of them depends on each individual. For instance, myself, I LOVE Christmas, and am a very prepared woman who is almost done her shopping and preparation. (Go ahead, make a face at your screen, it's okay, I'm used to it!)
While the hustle & bustle of the holidays can be exciting, it's crucial to take excellent care of yourself while you are suddenly doing way more than your normal routine. Last year, we wrote about how to deal with the depression that can sometimes accompany the holidays, and provided some helpful tips to those who perhaps were looking for a way to cope.
1) Keep yourself organized. Are you finding the whole idea of getting prepared and doing the shopping and the wrapping and the baking and, and, and, and.....too much? Start with a trusty old "To-Do" list. Make separate ones for each task you need to complete - shopping, food prep, decorating, etc. Tackle one task at a time, and watch how satisfying it is when you cross each item off the list.
2) Take time for YOU. Indulge in something that makes YOU happy. Whether it's a specialty coffee at your favorite coffee shop, or a yoga class, a massage, or a guy's night out (or girl's!) taking time to do something nice for yourself will make a big difference in how holiday stress will affect you.
3) Go see the big guy in red! If it falls into what holiday you celebrate, taking yourself, partner, kids to see Santa at a local mall or a parade can really bring joy and smiles to your face. Yes, the line up of crying children, and hot parents, can be daunting, so check out the times at your local mall and choose an off peak time of day/night to see Santa. One, you'll get to relax more, and two, you may just get an extra few minutes to talk to Santa!
4) Do something completely unselfish. Have you heard of "Elfing"? It's where you put something together, either handmade or purchased, your choice, and put it all together in a little package, maybe include some hot chocolate mix, and a little note (see below) and leave it on someone's doorknob, office desk, customer service area, wherever you decide to! Just knowing that you've brightened someone's day will certainly brighten yours!
5) Take pictures! Have you ever been so busy that you forgot to take your camera or smart phone out and snap some pictures to have for the years to come? Grab some fun props, or go out in the snow (looks like Ottawa will get their first snowstorm tomorrow!) or have fun lighting the Menorah or decorating the tree, or out for a walk taking in the festive lights. How about a photo a day challenge? One photo each day that falls into a category like below.
If the holidays are just not your thing, don't feel badly. You're entitled to feel the way you do. However, if you are feeling severely depressed, anxious, stressed and do not know how to cope with these feelings, please know that we are here for you 24/7.
We have volunteers here even through the holidays. These volunteers have given us the best holiday gift of all - their time - to ensure that someone is always here to answer the line when you call.
So if you wake up on Christmas Day, and you are needing someone to talk to, please know that we are here for you - as the same goes for every other time period over the holidays.
As we head into December, we would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday season, with however you are celebrating. May the season bring you great joy in your life, and peace in your body, mind & soul!