The Holiday Season is a hectic time of year full of celebrations, gift exchanges and family traditions. Although it is one of the most joyous seasons, it can be hard to find balance and set boundaries on the many indulgences you encounter. During this heightened time of giving we would like to remind you take care of yourself so that you remain healthy and prepared for the start of the New Year. Here are some tips on how to set some holiday boundaries so that you can start 2020 off strong!
This time of year, our tables and stomachs are a little fuller than usual; and with plenty of parties and tempting treats around, our eating habits are likely to see some significant changes. In addition, busy schedules may affect normal sleep patterns resulting in increased exhaustion. Although it is important to take advantage of the many delights that the holiday season brings, it is also smart to set some boundaries to make sure you don’t feel run down once the New Year begins.
- Work on balancing and planning your meals outside of those holiday parties to make sure that you still have some nutritious foods in your diet to fuel you.
- Try your best to keep getting a healthy amount of sleep so that you have the energy to maintain your holiday calendar.
- Keep some kind of normal schedule or routine in your day-to-day life. Often times we abandon that normalcy over the holidays which can make the start of the New Year more difficult to embrace.
- Stay committed to your therapy schedule. For some the holiday season can feel lonely and for others it may seem effortlessly positive. Regardless of your point of view it is important to keep up with your mental wellness routines so that there is no lapse in progress.
Take Time for You
During the holidays, you may feel the need to over-schedule activities in order to attend many events or see many people. With this influx of social gatherings can come some anxiety and pressure on how to fit it all in to your normal schedule. It is important that you set realistic expectations on what you can achieve during this time of year so that you are not over exerting yourself, and also so that you can enjoy the season!
- Create a calendar of all of the events that are upcoming and prioritize them so you know which you are able to attend.
- Leave gaps of time for yourself to rest and enjoy the season on your own or with your family.
- Don’t be afraid to decline some of the invitations you may receive. Although it may feel like you have to entertain them all, it is better to keep it to a manageable amount so that you are still able to enjoy the holidays.
- Take quiet time to be with the ones you hold dear. With all of the running around it can be easy to forget to spend quality time with loved ones. Slow down and make sure you are building those moments in to your holiday plans.
In addition to the added pressure on how you spend your time, there is an equal concern about how you spend your money. Gift giving is at its peak during the holidays and it is easy for people to feel obligated to spend a certain amount of money on gifts. We encourage you to take a realistic approach when planning your shopping as to not break budgets and start the New Year off at a deficit.
- Re-assess your budget to make room for gift buying by reducing other expenses if possible.
- Make a list of things you would like to purchase and prioritize them. Then, see what fits in your budget amount and adjust your purchase plans accordingly.
- Take advantage of the many shopping deals that are available during this season. It is often helpful to do research online for where to find the cheapest prices before actually buying items on your list.
- Finally, fill gaps in gift giving with acts of kindness. This season is not only about material gifts but also about the things you can do for others. Prepare a meal, spend time with someone, or even volunteer. These are all great options of giving that will cost less money but not lack the giving and loving spirit of this season.
The holidays can bring about the best and worst of emotions. While you celebrate the many joys in life, there can also be loneliness or sadness for those who have lost loved ones. It is normal for those feelings to be heightened at this time of year and we encourage you to embrace them so that you are still able to enjoy this time of year.
- Take time to reminisce on the fond memories of those who have passed, and celebrate those moments.
- Do not hold your feelings in, but express them to those close to you as a way of releasing any anxiety or sadness you may feel. This will open your mind and heart to the warmth and happiness of the season.
- Open up to your therapist about any setbacks that these feelings may be causing you so that you can star to heal.
- If there is someone you know who may be having a hard time this holiday season, reach out to them and let them know they are cared for and thought of during this time of year. These little gestures can go a long way with someone who may be struggling.
All of us at Cornerstone Counseling would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Have a blessed Holiday Season, and we look forward to seeing you in 2020!