Managing Holiday Stress
You've heard us say it before - the holidays can be stressful and taxing on your mental health! We've got some quick tips for you that may help you enjoy the season a little more...
Recharge - Take care of your physical health. Drink water, move your body, eat enjoyable and nutritious foods, stretch - whatever self-care looks like for you, do it!
Unplug - Let's be real, social media is often a breeding ground for comparison. Are you finding it difficult to see other people's "perfect" holiday pictures, Christmas decor, etc. without comparing yourself/your life to theirs? It may be time to unplug and notice the good things you have going on around you.
Retreat - When possible, take some time to be alone or just with your close loved ones (this one may not be too hard this year with social distancing and all...). Be intentional to slow down and be still. Read a book, listen to music, enjoy some coffee. But be still.
Give - You may have read that and thought - "Give? I'm already giving a lot this season!" We're not talking about the kind of giving where you buy presents and give them. We're also not talking about the kind of giving where you give of yourself (time, service, energy) to others. We're talking about 1 Peter 5:7 kind of giving...
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (1 Peter 5:7, NLT)
Give your worries, your fears, your pain, your disappointment, your stress, whatever is weighing you down to the Lord. Choose to trust Him with it this holiday season.
And of course, if you find yourself needing extra support, Bethel Haven is here for you! Sometimes life feels like it's too much to handle on our own. Our professional counselors are trained to help you walk through tough seasons toward hope and healing. To learn more, give us a call at (706) 310-9046!
As the holidays are upon us, it is important to acknowledge that while many enjoy this festive season, it comes with heavy burdens for many others. There are a number of different reasons why the holidays are challenging for many people.
For some, it might feel like there’s a lot of pressure to perform this month. You have to get the perfect gift, cook the perfect meal, and find the perfect tree. Depending on where you work, your job responsibilities may intensify this time of year. These things can be overwhelming on top of the day-to-day stresses we experience.
For others, the holidays may bring up memories of loved ones that have been lost. Grief can show up more strongly during the holiday season as it is typically a time spent with family and friends. The loss can feel stronger than it does at other times of the year because the traditions we participate in are often associated with those we care about and can be painful reminders that they are no longer with us.
Other people hate the holidays because they are estranged from their families. Many have been rejected by family or friends due to their beliefs or their identities, and having “family togetherness” rubbed in their face can sting.
Another reason why the holidays may be challenging is that seasonal depression can begin to kick-in about this time. Temperatures decrease, the sun shows itself less frequently, and we begin to feel less connected.
On top of these reasons the holidays are hard, the global COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique challenge in that it prevents us from being in close proximity with the family and friends with whom we would typically be gathering. A different kind of grief may be occurring here, one that tells us we shouldn’t still be in this situation, that the pandemic shouldn’t still be affecting us. But it is, and we make sacrifices out of caution and care for ourselves and our loved ones.
If the holidays are difficult for you, for whatever reason, I would hope you know that you are not alone. Your grief, sadness, and hurt are all valid and you do not have to fake it. You are not a “Grinch” or a “Scrooge” for having a hard time right now. You are allowed to interact with the holiday season in the way that is healthiest for you.
You don’t have to make any changes if you don’t want to, but if you’re looking for suggestions for how to approach the holidays, setting boundaries with yourself and others is a good place to start. This may look like saying no to gatherings of people. It may look to stepping back from the responsibility of cooking the Christmas meal. Take some time to think about what is important for you in the coming weeks and what you might need to get there.
When it comes to grief, finding a way to honor what was lost can help with the healing process. You can light a candle in memory, or set an extra place setting at the table for those who won’t be with you.
Finally, if you need support this season, reach out for it. Find the people in your life you can openly discuss your struggles with and let them in. You may find that there are more people having a hard time right now than you think.
For more information and suggestions check out the following link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201912/not-everyone-enjoys-the-holidays
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing