A Few Tips to (Hopefully) Help You Have A Happy Holiday
The holidays are meant to be a time for celebrations of faith and enjoying time with treasured friends and family, but for many of us it is also true that the holidays can be a time of feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and a time of dealing with feelings of depression.Stress can result from overspending on presents, anxiety over hosting family get togethers, loneliness or longing for deceased loved ones. Here are a few tips to help if you are struggling to help you handle whatever the holidays may send your way.
When it comes to gift giving, realize that money is tight for most of us right now. Talk with friends and family and try to agree on a set spending limit, or maybe just buy gifts for the kids, or get creative and donate your time to a senior center or drop in shelter in lieu of buying gifts. Remember, its not about who spends the most. The holidays are a time to tell the people you love that you love them.
Avoid Stress Before Stress Finds You
Though the holidays have been called the season of giving, most of us will agree that our fellow man, (or woman), is less than congenial while at the mall shopping for presents. One possible fix is to shop online. Plan to shop early though, to avoid expensive expedited shipping. Another option is to start your holiday shopping earlier in the year. Why wait until December to shop when your find that precious silver picture frame that your mother wanted in September? If you do shop early, make sure to get a gift receipt and confirm the return policy with the store clerk in case Mom needs to return her gift. Either way, you get to avoid over crowded mall parking lots and angry shoppers, making your holidays a lot happier.
If you happen to be the lucky host of the holiday get together, plan ahead and try asking everyone to bring a dish. Why should you be stuck in the kitchen for hours cooking and cleaning while everyone else is spending time together? Also, to cut down work for you, try using plastic cutlery and sturdier paper plates so that you don’t have to “get back to work” after the family has finished their meal.
Learn to let some things go. It’s okay if the house is less than pristine after the children rip into the wrapping paper on their gifts. If Uncle Larry has drank a little too much every year before, realize and accept that he will probably do it this year too. Take responsibility for yourself and try not to worry about the actions of your family members.
Most of all, if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, acknowledge your feelings and ask for help.
Handling The Holiday Blues
This is probably the hardest challenge of all to overcome. Seeing people around you laughing and smiling can make feelings of loneliness and depression feel worse. If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, mourning the ending of a relationship, or just find yourself single living alone in a new city with little family or friends for emotional support it may help just to get away from it all. Take a trip or a cruise to get away from triggers that remind you of what you “don’t have”. Donate time at a homeless shelter. This can give you a little perspective about your current situation and helping others often generates feelings of warmth and goodwill within ourselves.
If you find yourself in a battle with depression, reach out! Reach out to family, friends; join a support group or church. Isolation can make feelings of depression seem impossible to overcome. Try as hard as possible to surround yourself with people who care about you and don’t be afraid to get professional help if you need it.
Hope this helps if you are struggling, to make your holiday season a happier one. We wish you all the best and hope to see you again in 2013.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Hair & Body Works