I have a confession for you this holiday season...
This is my least favorite time of year.
There I said it, and it's true.
I try to be a positive optimistic force to everyone who follows Yoke and Abundance, but we need to talk about this season, because the hard truth for me and many other people is that the combination of a sore lack of sunshine in bodies that might be prone to SAD, the acute reminders that our society prefers coupling up rather than single people especially this time of year, the pressure to buy and spend, the increased activity in social calendars for attending multiple holiday parties and family expectations can lead to really emotionally tough times. At least it does for me.
I think it's easy to find yourself in an emotional valley this time of year if you're not careful (and even if you are careful).
Here are my 5 tips for Self-Care this time of year...
1) Exercise: I know it can be so hard to find the momentum to exercise when you feel really down. But if you can muster the energy to get moving regularly it will help significantly. Trust me on this. This is my single most powerful tool in my toolbox and I use it as much as I can this time of year. A brisk walk, a run, a yoga session they change my mood even if it's only briefly.
2) Sunshine: I need vitamin D this time of year the most. I make an effort to exercise in the sunshine.
3) Skip any party or engagement that you don't want to attend: Yes I know there is an expectation for you to be at certain parties, but I promise your mental health is way more important. This does not make you a Scrooge.
4) Talk to your close friends and family about how you feel: Doing the hard times alone makes this time of year acutely rough. I personally live alone so when I’m down it feels amplified by the fact that my immediate family feels like a family of one. Having friends and family members who know this is a rough time for me and check in on me with a phone call or text helps a lot. I have a few friends and family members who are my life lines. They know this is a tough time for me and they check on me via text and phone calls. It’s nice and useful, but I wouldn’t have them if I weren’t honest about how things are going.
5) Slow Down: I find that if my calendar is packed with too much to do it amplifies any negative feelings I’m having. The more I can clear my calendar to work out, knit, or make time for seeing and being with the people I care about one on one, the better I feel. Use any extra time to get rest, sleep, watch a movie, knit, read, reflect on how far you’ve come over the last year. Go easier on yourself.
If you’re having a tough time this season, you’re not alone. Reach out to your friends and family, get some sunshine, and if it’s really bad talk to a Dr. You don’t have to muscle through this alone.