This holiday season is different. Not horrible, not great, not a “new normal,” but…different.
My family and I still put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. We still have the tree lights glowing at night. We are still discussing our gift wish list. We are still watching holiday shows that make us smile. But like I said, the vibe is different.
You know the vibe. That COVID-19 vibe has put a cloud over activities this year.
My birthday is next week, but my festive mood is weak. While deciding what I want to do for my birthday, I have to consider safety, masks, my mood, and attitude. Will I even feel like going out this year? Do I want to deal with unmasked people? Do I want the health risk as I celebrate another year of life?
Am I bumming you out? Hang with me for a minute. I’m going somewhere with this.
The “different” that I’m referring to, has me coping with my birthday vibe and holiday season more intentionally. When I feel my mood start to dip, I focus on getting fit. Getting fit in my body, mind and spirit. I plug into things and people that lift my mood and encourage me to do what I know.
To be honest, I sometimes forget how wonderfully made and powerful I am. I bet you do too.
Well, today I stopped by with this blog post to remind you and me, that “WE GOT THIS. IT DOES NOT HAVE US.” The “It” is the holiday blues, the different vibe, and the stressors they include. Have you heard of the holiday blues? I know you have, but I’ll give you a quick reminder.
The holiday blues are those sad, depressed, anxious, worried, frustrated, lonely, or gloomy feelings triggered around the holiday season.
The contributing factors vary, but some triggers include:
· Expectations don’t match reality.
· Finances are struggling.
· Living alone and unable to visit family.
· Stress levels were already elevated prior to the holiday season.
· Grieving a loss.
· Being in conflict with your immediate or extended family.
· Being newly divorced.
· Being an empty nester and your children can’t visit this year.
· It’s cold, gloomy, and you are staying indoors most of the time.
Those are just a few examples of how holiday blues manifest.
Just by understanding the holiday blues, won’t make us immune. It is a very mind, body and perception experience. To respond to it better, we have to know ourselves better. We have to get in tune with our mind, body, and emotions, while taking action on what we know is best for times like these.
As you make plans for the remainder of the holiday season, be in tune with yourself.
Be aware of what your emotions are trying to tell you. They may be saying, rest. They may be saying, phone a friend. They may be saying, be stronger than the storm…it too shall pass.
Here are an additional “3 Ways To Snooze Your Holiday Blues.” Add these to your tool box and include tools that you are already using.
1 | Be honest about your feelings. Saying “this is the new normal,” is fine, but transitions require time. Some changes will trigger emotional turmoil. Share your feelings through journaling or with family and friends. If you don’t have close friends or family to confide in, consider your pastor, chaplain, a therapist, or life coach…like me.
2 | Evaluate your expectations. Do they match the reality of this holiday season? If not, focus on getting clear about the reality and how it can still be pleasant, despite the challenges. If you can’t travel to visit your family, plan how you will still connect, laugh, and exchange gifts. If you are in conflict with your family this year, plan to reach out to friends or build relationships with acquaintances. If you are newly divorced or single, build this holiday season around getting to know you. Create new traditions, rituals, and experiences that nurture and strengthen your identity and self-love.
3 | Plan in advance. If you normally shop in person, but that option doesn’t work for you this year, plan to shop online. If you are uncomfortable visiting friends or family this holiday season, plan how you will decline. If you want to travel, but can’t, plan what you will do instead. If you are grieving a loss, get connected with a holiday grief support group in your area. Griefshare.org is a good place to start.
I hope these three strategies are helpful as you work to snooze the holiday blues.
If you need more ideas, tune into the Me Myself and HER Podcast tomorrow. On Episode 27, I will discuss three additional strategies to add to the toolbox.
FYI…Season 2 of the podcast is coming to a close. Next week will be the final episode, and Season 3 will launch in January 2021. I will post on the blog biweekly until Season 3 is live.
I’m not stopping, just slowing down to enjoy the holidays and some time to reset and stay at my best.
Pssst! I have an early Christmas gift for you.
For the month of December, I’m sharing my personal self-care calendar with you. Sign-up on my website at livelikeher.com!
For those who have already subscribed, check your in-box.
The calendar has 35 self-care ideas! Look at the day of the week, go down the list, and pick the self-care practice that will work for. Don’t miss out on this cheat sheet. Sign-up before January 1, 2021 and make your self-care lifestyle much easier.