As the old song goes, It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Holidays are a time to be together with family, exchange gifts and reminisce about Christmases past.
Wow, that’s a lot of pressure.
We all love the holidays, but the difference between what Christmas is supposed to be and what it usually is can create real anxiety. In spending time with family, there is a tendency to focus on who is NOT with you, instead of enjoying those who are.
I talk with a lot of people around the North Sunflower family who tell me they miss the days when Christmas was a time to be a kid again. The parents and grandparents we celebrated with when we were younger are no longer with us, and our own children grow up and start their own families. That can create a sense of loss as we remember the warm glow of Christmases past.
Throw on top of that, the pressure of tightened family budgets, the need to give to many charitable causes this time of year and the natural desire to get that perfect gift for everyone on your list, December can turn us all into a bundle of nerves. Ugh.
How to Fight Off Holiday Anxiety
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
First, know that we all feel this way.
To begin to untie that ball of anxiety, understand why its stressful, and know that you are not alone. Talk to any friend, and you’ll find more than likely they feel the same way. Knowing you are not the only one in the world who finds the holidays can be less than postcard perfect may be the best stress reliever there is.
Be mindful of what is causing anxiety so that you can accept the pressure and create a plan to make it better.
Shorter days and less sunlight impact all of our moods in ways that we don’t immediately recognize. Take time throughout the day to get out and see the sun. Go for a short walk around the North Sunflower Medical Center walking track during lunch or go out for coffee during the day. Do that with a friend and not only are you combatting the lack of sunlight, but you’re also fighting off loneliness that hits people this time of year. And exercise can give you a sense of control and power over anxiety any time of year.
If seeing your friends picture perfect posts on social media gives you a fear of missing out, limit your time on Facebook or Twitter.
Use that time to talk to the people around you and hear more about how they are feeling this time of year.
Lastly, own your feelings.
It’s perfectly acceptable to be stressed out over holiday decorations, finding the right gift and getting the decorations just like you want them to be. Enjoy those close friends that are with you instead of lamenting those that can’t be with us. Talk to friends about how you feel. And if you don’t feel like talking to a friend, call us here at North Sunflower Behavior Health Services (662-756-1630). We’re always happy to talk.
It is a magical time of year. But even Christmas Miracles can’t happen without someone – or something – being in need of a miracle. Knowing that even Christmas isn’t perfect is the best way to fight off the Holiday blues.