With Christmas just around the corner the pressure is on to get organized for the holidays. For many that can be a whirlwind of family commitments, shopping for presents, decorating your home, and a slew of other demands. For many this season brings back memories of lost ones. In between he stress of a demanding season, and the everyday pressures of life which seem magnified in the face of a world that’s demanding you be “merry,” – Christmas for many is not always a joyous time of year.
As a therapist it is quite common to see a steep rise in calls from new clients at this time of year, and the beginning of the New Year. Reaching out for professional support to prevent stress, anxiety, or depression, from doing serious and possible permanent damage to your life and family, is a wise and courageous decision.
Here are the top 5 things I would suggest you consider to help keep this season from turning a bit too blue:
1. If you are a shopper, set a budget, and stick to it. Gifts given or received do not equal happiness. One of my favorite and most inexpensive gifts is this: Purchase a small attractive book with blank pages. Dedicate the book to the person whom you are giving a gift, and take the time to write one reason per page white you feel so happy or blessed that they are your friend, family, lover, or even coworker. This is an inexpensive gift that guarantees a smile on someone’s face.
2. Remain committed to what ever you do regularly do to stay healthy. If it is regular walks, the gym, or a squash game over lunch. Book those activities with the partner now, and don’t let them slip. Maintaining your physical health helps to maintain your mental health.
3. Be both kind and fair to yourself. There is only so much you can do in a day, and life is not always perfect. Try not to compare this Christmas with last Christmas. Do your best to be present with what is happening in the moment and be creative about new and fun ways to celebrate. Acknowledge and be open with your feelings. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one it is both healthy and acceptable to be open and honest about your grief. Celebration comes in both tears of joy and tears of sadness.
4. In the spirit of the season make a commitment to compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. Set aside your differences and be the best person you can when you bump into those people who push your buttons. Recognize and acknowledge that other people will also be feeling a great deal of stress at this time a year. Craftily execute random acts of kindness! There is incredible joy in both receiving a kind act, and in giving it.
5. Schedule planning sessions! Actually make a time each week, or possibly each day, to sit down and organize your ‘to do’ list, and your schedule. Our brains produce less stress hormone when we know that there is a plan in place to achieve the multitude of things we may wish to do.
And last, if you are getting the sense that stress, anxiety, grief, or depression is continuing to build in your life, seek professional help. We all have our gifts and skills, and a gifted therapist has the right tools to help you with a mental tune-up. It’s not unlike when you hear that knocking sound in your car, it’s best to see the mechanic before the damage gets too pricey!
The therapists at GenesisSquared are trained to provide you with tools to defuse these negative emotions and help you live happier life. Call us now for an in office, online, or whole visitation introductory session.