The holiday season is here and with it comes a mixture of feelings – some joyful, and full of laughter. While others may experience sadness or heartache. The holidays can be overwhelming with the endless lists, family obligations, pressures to shower people with gifts, and for more introverted people, to mingle with people they’d rather not be around.
The holidays can be a magical, stressful, joyful, heartbreaking, blissful, complicated time. If you (like me) notice that your emotions become heightened around the holidays, you may benefit from a special holiday self-care practice. I notice that I crave peace, solitude and comfort around the holidays, so I purposefully wake up an hour earlier each morning to linger in my pajamas, journal, listen to music, drink coffee, and give myself the ease and rest I know I may not be able to access for the rest of the day.
Taking this time for myself before the hustle and bustle begin allows me to enter the day with a “full cup,” instead of feeling depleted and overtaxed as I sometimes do during overstimulating holiday festivities. I challenge you to tune into what you might need this holiday season, and find a way to meet those needs in a self-care practice.
A quick search for statistics on stress levels during the holiday season showed that anywhere between 50% to 88% of Americans surveyed reported increased stress levels during the holiday season. During a time that is touted as bringing “tidings of comfort and joy”, people struggle to relax. The expectations of the season bring with them a myriad of stress inducers such as struggling with grief and loss, managing family visits/travel, change of schedules and structure, pressure to give gifts which can lead to financial strain, and so much more.
Additionally, the holiday season centers on the Christmas experiences, often causing children and families that share other traditions to feel insignificant and ignored. This winter season I offer the following suggestions to support reduced stress levels and increased inclusivity.
Until next year, Be Wise!
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