Trying to cover the tension and stress that one may feel during this time of year can take a tremendous amount of energy. We have been led to believe that it is easy to create a “perfect” holiday with a fabulous meal and exactly the right gift, fastidiously wrapped, for everyone we know. In reality this season may bring a sense of dread and anxiety. Here are a few tips for coping, which could offer comfort and lower the expectations of perfection.
- Do something nice for yourself everyday. Often the simplest things can bring great pleasure; a short walk with the sun on your face, a quiet meditative time in the morning before starting your day, a cup of tea and 5 minutes of silence.
- Give the gift of thoughtfulness, rather than a monetary gift. Offer to do an errand for an elderly neighbor, visit a nursing home, lend a book that you enjoyed to a fellow reader, call someone you know would love to hear from you. The act of kindness can feel like a gift to yourself.
- One of my favorites: make a BINGO card of things that are annoying to you (your dog ran off, you forgot a key ingredient at the grocery store, your child announced he needs something essential that you don’t have for school the next day, etc.). Reward yourself with a treat when you get a “Bingo”.
- Remind yourself that it is okay for you to be feeling the way you are. Be kind to yourself, take time for yourself, slow down and look for the humor.
- Remember that there are professionals out there to help you with your struggles. No matter how wonderful your family and friends are, sometimes it takes a professional who is non-judgemental, supportive and offers confidentiality to help make sense of the dissatisfaction that you are feeling.