Christmas is my favorite holiday – it’s my birthday month! But, it can sometimes be a challenge keeping my sanity with all that’s going on and enjoy the festivities. Not to mention the fact that we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic; this just results in a tad more anxiety which pushes the limit of my sanity. And, as women, we are usually the ones in charge of the organizing, planning, and making sure everyone is happy. So, I want you to remember to make time for yourself and your happiness! This way, you can remain sane and stress-free during this unprecedented time.
Holiday blues is real and it’s a huge struggle this year because many of us won’t be spending the holidays with our loved ones and friends. And although we may not be cooking for the usual large crowd, we may feel a bit of extra pressure to make sure everyone has the perfect Christmas because of the pandemic. To say that this is overwhelming, is an understatement. That having been said, I want to share some things and tips that I will be following this year to help me keep my sanity, thrive & have an awesome Christmas – and birthday!
1. Acknowledge your feelings.
COVID-19 has not been easy and many of us lost loved ones and/or friends. And, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to be with your family this Christmas due to travel restrictions & the need to minimize putting our loved ones in jeopardy. It’s OK to be angry, sad, grief stricken, anxious, stressed. Don’t hide your feelings. Express them in whatever way works for you: journaling, crying, screaming. It won’t make the pain, or the situation go away, but it will make you feel a bit better and keep you sane.
2. Prioritize, prioritize, and prioritize.
This is extremely important considering the many restrictions in place that will make the holidays a tad difficult to navigate. That’s why I’m urging you to make sure your priorities are in order. Sis, listen, you only have so much to give and pouring from your cup instead of your overflow is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t take the time to care for what is important to you, resentment can creep in. Or, even worse, you may begin to resent Christmas all together. Make it your business to put your needs and wants at the top of your priority list!
3. Make two lists & check them twice.
In the 1st list write everything that must be done and in the second list write everything you would rather be doing. When you are making these lists you need to ask yourself this, “Am I doing these things because they make me happy or because I want to keep tradition alive & well?”
If your answer is to keep traditions alive then you are in for a surprise; traditions can be reinvented or nixed all together. Heck, considering this unprecedented time, I would argue that it is the perfect time to change things up a bit!
4. Take a break.
The holidays are meant to be a break from working and running around so make sure to use this time for just that! Let someone else do the cooking or have the kids decorate this year. This year things are looking so much different than what we are used to, and this may cause you to stress over the simple things. If that is the case, remember this: you deserve a break, too! Trust me, it won’t be the end of the world if you decide to change things up a bit.
Give yourself a few hours here and there as often as possible! Read a book, watch a movie, go on a walk or anything that you find relaxing because self-care is an act of resistance and we need it the most right now! The more time you give to yourself, the easier it will be to stay sane & not catch a case!
5. Treat yourself!
We are always on the hunt for the best present for family & friend and forget to treat ourselves to the same delight. I admit that it is gratifying to see the happiness & smiles on my family member’s faces, but it is just as gratifying to open something for myself, from myself! Sis, buy that pair of shoes you have been eyeing for months or that Fenty makeup palette you’ve had your eye on. Thank me later!
6. Count your blessings!
As the song lyrics go, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
There are so many things to be grateful for this holiday season despite COVID-19. If you’re finding it tough to find something to be grateful for, here are a few things that might help jog your memory:
• YOU ARE STILL HERE!
• You have eyes to see to read this blog post!
• You have a phone or computer to read this blog post!
• You survived 4 long years of ‘45’, I’m just saying!
7. Keep up with your healthy habits.
Don’t let Christmas get you out of sync with the healthy habits you’ve formed. Remember, how much work you’ve put in thus far. The last thing you want to do is overindulge and end up with a ton of anxiety, stress, and guilt when it’s all said & done. Here are a few things that I’ll be focusing on & keeping at the top of my self-care list:
• Get plenty of rest & sleep. They are NOT the same!
• Breathwork & meditation
• Limiting my time on social media
• Making sure I have healthy snacks & drinks.
• Stay hydrated!
Sister-friend, don’t let the current landscape steal your joy & holiday cheer this year! Instead, use your power to take steps to keep your sanity, minimize stress & stave off the holiday blues. I promise you peace & joy can be yours with planning & positive thinking!