They say the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but for many, this year just seems off. 2020 has been a difficult one. So many of our sacred traditions have been uprooted to help contain a virus that has been holding us all hostage since March. I share in the struggles of the year, having lost my mom this past October. Getting excited about the holiday season has been difficult for my family, but I do think there are options for surviving a “different” kind of holiday.
Maybe it can help by accepting that it will just be different – and that isn’t always a bad thing. I have always loved the holidays (I mean REALLY love the holidays!), but it can often be riddled with long to-do lists, endless parties, cooking, and zero time to relax – sound familiar? This year, I am choosing to embrace the quiet. Take a rest from social media or Netflix binging, get out in nature, take a nap, or read that book that is gathering dust on your nightstand. By doing so, your body can heal from the stress placed upon it. We often busy ourselves to avoid feelings, but if you allow yourself to be still, it can be the birthplace of innovation and creativity because clarity comes when your body is still – plain and simple. At this very moment, your body knows what it needs, so embrace a quieter season and use this time to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
It is also important to acknowledge whatever you may be feeling. Perhaps you have experienced the loss of a loved one or you may just be losing your mind spending so much time with your family…all day, every day. Try not to push these negative emotions away and pretend they don’t exist. Your body has a really good memory for pain. Feelings are meant to be processed, so reach out to a family member or friend and let them see your vulnerability. I bet you they will be able to relate and it can help deepen your bond. If you are a more private person, dust off an old journal and simply put your feelings on paper. Once you give these feelings your attention, they can be set free and it will make room for things like comfort and joy.
Isolation is another doozy this holiday. If you are feeling disconnected from loved ones, see if you can find new ways to celebrate together – maybe you can host a virtual ugly sweater competition or gingerbread house decorating contest via Zoom. Playing online games like Jackbox, Quiplash is my personal favorite. Play online trivia or solve a murder mystery…all organized through online apps that help you feel connected. Who knows, maybe you will create new traditions that will be keepers in the years to come.
We realize that many people are struggling, and these approaches may not fit the bill. If you are suffering from severe anxiety or depression, do not hesitate to reach out to us at The Wellness Connection. We will help find specific strategies that work for you. Despite your best efforts, sometimes a professional’s help is the best path forward to reclaiming all that matters to you. We offer in-person and telehealth services and we are here to help.