Here come the holidays again...that wonderful time of year when you can be triggered by emotions and memories that can shake your inner peace. Holidays are difficult for many people. You're not alone if you feel empty or sad during the holidays. This time of year is meant to be a time of gratitude, kindness, and love. Unfortunately, this time of year can cause anxiety and stress that doesn’t bring you
Here are 5 ways you can change holiday gloom.
1. Physical exercise can help improve your mood.
Exercise is a great way to bring up your endorphins which increase your feelings of general well being and euphoria. You don’t have to do an intense workout (although that will help you sleep better tonight), but a nice brisk walk or a long bike ride will trigger your body to produce these endorphins. Exercise is proven to improve our mood and keep depression away. Try getting out for some fresh air on a nice hike. If you want to get more intense you could swim, rock climb, or lift weights. What is important is that you get out and get moving.
2. Express yourself through art
Art can help you express your feelings and emotions without feeling like you are burdening other people. You can share your art or keep it to yourself, but whatever it is it’s yours and yours alone and unique to you. Art in different mediums can help you express your feelings differently. The resistance of clay against your fingers can help you exert some pent up feelings. Painting, drawing and photography are great ways to get started on a budget. Don’t worry about your creativity or your skill level those are all things that come will with experience and practice. You’ll have a chance to see how you grow while learning these new and exciting coping skills.
3. Just Be
Feel what it is that you feel today. Allow yourself to acknowledge these emotions and feelings that you have surrounding this time of year. You don’t always have to understand feelings but you can give them a nod and keep going. You may find that you understand more when you just let go and let things be what they are. It could be more to it than the fact that they are holidays. Sometimes family and friends make it hard because holidays are reminders of when we were children or of what we used to have. Part of healing and understanding is acceptance. Maybe the holiday is just a normal day. That's OK. You don’t even have to define any day as a holiday. (Hint: many people around the world do not celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s.)
4. Create New Traditions
Who says you have to have a huge family dinner on Thanksgiving. Covid creating our “new-normal” and this is a perfect time to create new holiday traditions that focus on gratitude and love in our own homes. Small holiday dinners can be inviting and much less stressful than the chatter and clanging of larger gatherings. Try cooking a different entree than the traditional turkey or, even better, go out for a nice dinner and let someone else clean up after your dinner party. Make it a family tradition to build a new outdoor christmas display or make cookies.
5. Complete Reset
This could be a year for you to reset and change the way that you are viewing the holidays. You get to decide what holidays look like from today forward. You’re not a Grinch for celebrating differently. Life throws us curve balls and and our life is best lived adjusting to them, not dodging them. Build a new support network that you grow with. These will be your people now and they are the ones you can celebrate more than holidays with. Your support system are people you can celebrate your wins and achievements with who are also there when you need a should. Life has a lot to celebrate.
We get to choose what our life looks like including holidays. We get to choose the people in our lives. Give yourself some grace this holiday season. Cleanse your life of people who don’t count and set a place at the table for those who deserve it. Take time to enjoy yourself and who you are now.