It’s been a long, unprecedented year, but we’ve officially made it to December. We have one month remaining in 2020, which will be capped off by another holiday season.
The month of December is usually associated with Christmas, as well as ringing in the start of a new year a week later. That will remain the case this year, but with an added twist.
This year has been tough on everybody for a variety of reasons, with likely none greater than the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless of your views on the state of the virus, your mental health has likely fluctuated throughout the year due to worry, stress, health, financial situation, job status and the many things you’re restricted from doing.
These things have all compounded on top of one another and all the other things in your life, which is making this year that much more difficult.
The holiday season typically always brings with it a lot of added stress. This stress revolves around things like shopping and buying gifts, traveling to see family and finishing work projects before the year ends.
This year, more so than ever, it’s important to try and minimize the unnecessary stress and focus on what’s really important.
It’s much easier said than done, but if you’re able to put things into perspective and form the right mindset, you can close out this wild year with a successful holiday.
Less Stressed, More Blessed
For many people, this holiday season won’t look the same as years past.
You might not end up traveling to see friends or family. You might not be able to go out to eat and share a meal with loved ones around Christmas. You might not be able to afford as many gifts as years past.
As unfortunate and saddening as this might be, it’s not a permanent change. Therefore, accepting the current circumstances and working to make the best of the situation is the desired move.
Some things you just can’t change and attempting to change them anyways to create a different outcome will lead to additional stress.
As mentioned above, eliminating unnecessary anxiety that you can control this holiday is essential.
Making sure you stay healthy – mentally and physically – by staying positive, meditating, reading, eating clean, exercising and getting sufficient rest will help cut down on the stress.
This is first and foremost before even taking the holidays into consideration. Prioritizing your health, which should always be at the forefront, is the most important factor because if you fail to do this, it will be much easier for the stress of the holidays to hit you hard.
It’s important to make an effort to continue living your life the same way, not allowing the craziness of the holidays to change your routine too drastically.
The amount of stress endured, and the different stressors identified, is unique to each person. However, keeping your mind and body happy is a universal logic that will increase everyone’s chances of a joyful holiday.
Once you have an effective grasp on your personal health, there are ways to combat holiday stress.
A few tips include:
- Be realistic
- Know what you’re able to do versus what you want to do. Understand the current circumstances. Accept the possibility of a wide range of outcomes and come to terms with happiness and positivity regardless of result.
- Plan ahead
- Based on realistic expectations, plan ahead on what your holiday will look like. Plan things like shopping and details of Christmas Eve and Day. That way, you will negate the stress of worrying about what is coming, and you can focus on making it a joyful experience instead.
- Don’t abandon habits
- This goes back to prioritizing your health and routine. It’s more of a reminder, but don’t let it get lost in the shuffle amidst the bustle of the holidays. Continue to stay on track with what you normally do and remain consistent in your healthy habits. This can apply to health as well as other daily life habits.
- Take breaks
- Embrace mental and physical breaks. When you’re overwhelmed, stop and do something fun. Think good thoughts. Take the load off your mind and body for a bit. And if necessary, seek help and support through friends and family.
- Be grateful
- Last, but certainly not least, express gratitude. Sure, there might be 1,000 things going on at once, on top of your everyday routine. But be grateful you’re here and able to go through it all. Be thankful for another holiday.
These tips will help keep you from getting overwhelmed. Sometimes, when things get crazy, it’s easy to forget tips like these and just conform to the situation at hand.
The key is being mindful, taking a step back, and reminding yourself of the benefits in avoiding too much stress and simply letting things happen.
Things will play out the way they’re meant to be, regardless if you worry and try to change them or not. Therefore, refrain from becoming stressed, focus on the reasons why you are blessed, and prepare yourself for a fun holiday.
The Wrap Up
Though this advice might seem broad, it can be personalized to your own set of circumstances. Apply it to your own vision of what your holidays will be and take from it anything that can help improve your mental health.
Even if you find yourself experiencing minimal stress thus far, practice some of these tips to ensure the stress won’t creep up on you as we near closer to the end of the year. If there’s one thing we learned during the first 11 months of the year, it’s the unpredictability the world has to offer us.
If you get out in front and prepare yourself properly, your chances of peace and happiness for the whole month will multiply.
So, enjoy the holiday season and be grateful that you are healthy and able to celebrate. Because there are many people that are much less fortunate.
“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for us and for those around us.”