Most of us look forward to this time of the year so that we can meet and greet our families and spend some quality time together. Especially since the pandemic began right after Christmas 2019, a lot of us will be meeting our families after two long years. While this may be a happy time for us, it may not be the case with some. For instance, a few people still can’t fly to their families due to travel restrictions, job security or medical reasons. There are many who are also grieving the loss of members, and others who may not feel safe while meeting the entire clan. If this holiday season is bitter-sweet or anxiety-inducing for you, we have four tips you can apply to transition through these two weeks smoothly.
- Create a safe zone: One of the primary reasons due to which people with anxiety, depression or mental health disorders don’t favor spending all their time in a chaotic vacation home is the lack of a safe space. When there are so many family members meeting up, tensions can run high, and it’s simply a matter of time before someone triggers another. At such a time, creating and establishing a safe zone to retreat to when you want some quiet time to yourself is necessary. For starters, it could be the confines of your bedroom, or a park bench, if you prefer going outside.
- Respect your own boundaries: Your body is subconsciously absorbing a lot of information, and the holiday season can overwhelm all of us introverts who have thrived without excessive social exposure. In such instances, forcing yourself to go out and participate may feel like a betrayal to your nervous system. Hence, we’d advise you to listen to your body and mentally prepare for events. Keep your options open to return home at any point your social batteries run out.
- Keep a journal: The holidays tend to bring out mixed emotions in everyone. For one, there is a lot of nostalgia. And in recent years, there is a mix of gratitude, sorrow, grief and confusion. To help yourself navigate this cluster of emotions you’re feeling, maintain a journal where you can write what you’re feeling. Once it is on paper, you’ll feel much better. Especially if you’re on medication like prescription CBD for therapy, reading your journal later helps learn more about the emotions experienced or even triggering memories
- Meditate, sleep and get exercise: We recommend that you get all three inconsistent doses. Sleep, reflection and movement will keep you feeling well-rested, calm and in control during the holidays. Your mental health responds well to getting adequate sleep, time to process and live in the now moment.
These four tips can help anyone sail through the holiday season because they focus on the most important aspect- you. Communicate your needs, spend time with people who make you feel good, hold your boundaries, and try to enjoy this period of the year by doing what you love. We wish you happiness and serenity as this year ends!