Hello to our loyal subscribers and readers! I apologize for not writing in a while, however things have been extremely busy with new projects and upcoming commitments.
This pandemic has brought about many challenges over this past year, but none like the challenges that we are about to see with the Holidays coming up. As tempting as it will be to want to gather with family and friends to enjoy the festivities, many of us will be deciding to stay home and interact via Facetime or Zoom. This can be particularly stressful because we as human beings rely on social support to thrive in our daily lives. Many say that virtual visits just aren't the same, and they make us miss our loved ones more. But what if we shifted our mindset and learned to appreciate all that technology can do to help us stay connected in these unpredictable times?
Along with a mindset shift, I do believe that it is possible to stay happy and healthy as we navigate this new change in our Holiday traditions. Keep reading to find out how!
Ultimately our physical health is going to have a large effect on how we are able to manage stress. In order to make sure we are staying ahead of common illnesses during this time of year, we need to be conscious of our daily health activities. Hand hygiene and frequent cleaning of surfaces in the house hold will greatly aid with preventing spreadable diseases. Additionally, keeping a consistent exercise routine will help keep our immune systems up and our moods lifted so that we can function in a higher stress environment.
With the holidays also comes stress. And with stress, comes stress eating. You may find yourself reaching for those cookies more frequently without even realizing it! Now, let's be honest here, I'm not going to tell you to not eat the cookie. Because I know that I will also be eating the cookies. I will tell you, however, that just because you eat one cookie does not give you permission to eat the entire box of cookies. So, have the cookie, enjoy it, and make sure you are balancing with continuing to eat healthy foods that consist of the nutrients your body needs to function!
To manage the stress of the Holidays, your current self-care routine may not be enough to cover it all. You may want to look into waking up a little earlier to get in a meditation or journaling, or take a few extra 5 minute breaks at work. The point here is to be intentional about taking care of your mental health when you know you will be expecting more stressors in the next several weeks.
Talk to people who can help support you. Whether it is your therapist or really good friend, take the time to have conversations about your concerns to come up with better solutions on how to manage everything. Talking to a therapist has the added benefit of having someone objective point out things that you may not even have been aware of. Right now most insurance companies are covering telehealth appointments so you don't even have to risk your health or pocketbook to see a professional.
Schedule time for yourself. Going back to being intentional, sometimes we tend to forget about ourselves during the Holidays. This is mostly because we are trying to focus on being people pleasers and making sure that everyone else in our lives are stress-free and happy. But what about you? Make sure you take some "you" time to get in some well-earned relaxation. Taking a relaxing bath, going for a massage, or taking some time to play with the pups are a few examples of things you can do to take care of yourself.
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of things to consider with the Holidays coming up. Try a few things out for yourself to see what works best and what may need some improvement. You know yourself best so trust that you are capable of making good choices that will ultimately benefit you in the long run. Best wishes and Happy Holidays!
And as always, Be Well and Wag On!