My hope is that your holiday season is joyful, but I know the truth. It doesn't always work out that way. In my workbook Reclaiming Your Lost Soul I encourage everyone to take care of themselves. As we give and give, our bucket runs dry. When we feel depleted, then we respond in snarky ways, say things we don't want to say, and dislike who we become. Then shame sets in.
When you take care of yourself, even if it's just 10 minutes, you can regenerate your soul, your mind and body, your emotions, your thoughts and your behaviors. I realize that taking time for yourself could be the last thing on your list. But take a breathe and let your emotions calm down. Many clients coming into therapy are running too fast, taking on more than they can handle, and feeling constantly overwhelmed. That can induce anxiety.
I remember trying to make the holidays perfect. I wanted to get the best gifts for the kids and others. I needed to spend more money to have the gifts be just right. I became anxious about cooking, baking, and entertaining. However, one Christmas I was running so fast and my bucket was empty that after the holidays I took a nosedive into depression. Once my body relaxed and let go, that's when the depression set in.
When you're anxious, others around you become anxious. When you're snarky, others around you become snarky. You need to STOP and take a minute. Christmas doesn't need to be perfect. Even if you try, you can't make it perfect anyway. That perfectionism gets you all worked up and the holidays that you hoped would be joyous become a burden, not just for you, but everyone around you.
When you seek joy you allow yourself some breathing room. You carve out time in your day just for you. Many people have found a place in their home that becomes their safe haven. Praying, doing devotions, reading the Bible, journaling, and working on the Reclaiming Your Lost Soul Workbook are some ideas to get started. Others go to coffee shops and libraries for the quiet time and the opportunity to reflect and recharge. Take time to enjoy the lights, the quietness of winter, and your family.
I pray this Christmas will be the start of new traditions that involve less hectic activities and less perfect expectations! May you have a joyous holiday season! Blessings, Peg