The Holiday season does not have to be a souce of stress and depression.
As a woman in her 40’s fighting stress and depression during the holiday season may seem unattainable but it does not have to be. I know there is the usual schedule to keep up such as: shopping, decorating, family gatherings, parties and of course cooking.
But let’s face it; the holidays do not have to be a source of stress or depression if the days ahead are approached realistically, in the moment, and without great expectations.
Some people may view the holidays as a time to celebrate family and their religious beliefs still others view it as a time of grief, loneliness, stress or depression. When you look at the number of vehicles on the parking lots of shopping malls and the hustle and bustle of supermarkets it is enough to make you wonder how I can possibly do it all. Well, you can with just a few adjustments to your way of thinking about the Holidays.
Begin by approaching the Holidays in a realistic manner. What I mean is, if you know that you are presently living on a budget then you know that purchasing gifts must be kept to a minimum or you must get creative. You must plan and strategize how you will spend your money to receive the highest level of gratification from gift giving. If you know that the spirit is in giving the gift and it is the thought that counts, then there is not a reason to stress about a gift(s) you cannot afford. It is clearly irresponsible to max out credit cards for purchases that you must pay for later.
This not only applies to purchasing gifts but also for planning the infamous Holiday Dinner. Plan your dinner carefully and watch for the supermarket deals and purchase some items such as non-perishables early. If you plan out every aspect of your meal then it is highly unlikely that you will go over your budget. Oh and the most important rule of thumb is NEVER grocery shop when you are hungry. You are almost guaranteed to blow your budget if you are hungry and shopping for food.
If you are someone that has experienced a loss of someone you love being realistic applies to you as well. Acknowledge the fact that you may feel sad and express your grief when necessary. The key is not remaining in this mindset. Think of all the happy moments you shared with this individual. It may also help to write a letter to that person expressing how much you miss them as a gesture to express your emotions. It is understood that your loved one cannot be replaced and the letter writing is just for you to express your personal sentiment during this time as though you were having a personal discussion. You should also try surrounding yourself with others such as friends and other family members. If you live apart from family and cannot make it home for the Holidays, join some friends, coworkers when invited or attend some other type of social gathering.
Stay in the moment and enjoy the Holiday season. Yes, stay in the moment and appreciate what you have, who you have in your life or what you are able to do for someone else. This can be difficult at times due to your circumstances, however not impossible. Don’t look around at others and value more of what someone else have in their lives and not appreciate what you have in your life. If you are single, just appreciate the opportunity of going out and meeting so many great people if you have the right attitude.
One good way to stay in the moment is to list all the things and people you are grateful to have in your life. Attend some of the Holiday festivities but don’t over compensate by trying to attend too many parties especially the ones you really don’t care about. If your family practiced Holiday traditions, think of starting some traditions of your own and enjoy the process. If you are religious, attend a religious event to uplift your spirits to remind you that you are important and that you have purpose.
Make sure you take the time to appreciate each day. This may sound very cliché but true. Once you are able to be grateful for the many things that you have in your life and not place importance on what you do not have, it brings about a certain amount of joy to you. This can be done by enjoying all that the Holiday season has to offer.
The ability to enjoy the Holiday season without any great expectations is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself. Just enjoy what the Holiday has to offer. You do not have to attend the biggest party and receive the most expensive gift to enjoy the Holidays. Some of the best parties are small and usually the best gift is heartfelt and thoughtful. Don’t get caught up in the hype of the commercialism of what is the norm but understand that each Holiday experience is unique to every individual. What one person values another person may not so apply that to what is important during this time of year.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have been two of the biggest shopping days of the year but to those that are not connected to the commercialism, it was just a Friday and Monday, business as usual. It may have been a day that was spent doing something that was valuable to that person or maybe you just had to work on those days. Be the person that determines your own values and sets your personal standards of what this Holiday season is and means for you.