The holiday season is approaching fast, I realized this when I walked into Starbucks this morning and saw the bright green and red colors, along with their new holiday cups and mugs. The holiday season is the best and worst time of the year for people. Suicide rates skyrocket during the holiday season as well as debt, blood sugar levels, and stress.
CHECK ON YOUR FRIENDS: If you have a friend that has a toxic family invite them to come to your toxic family…jk. In all seriousness, check in on your friends in the next few months because they are going to be stressed out of their minds. Especially if they are in college, the holiday season also brings finals. Ask your friends what they need and how you can help. But also make sure you are taking care of yourself and letting your friends know what you need. Simply be there for one another.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT FAMILY: If family is as important to you like mine is to me—simply show up to the holiday events even if you don’t really feel like putting up with your family. You never know when someone will pass away. I just had a friend who lost her young mother. You really need to appreciate your time with the people you love, especially around the holidays.
SELF-CARE: Don’t forget about yourself. Taking care of your physical and mental health during the holidays is a MUST. Some things that I like to do to help me are deep breathing, meditation, yoga, play with my cousins, take a walk, etc. Just find something that works for you because the holidays are so exhausting. I know sometimes I will just go to a quiet place and just relax by myself or just with one or two other people because being around a lot of people can be stressful. I usually end up taking a nap after the big meal.
EATING DISORDERS: Speaking of meals, if you are struggling with an eating disorder this holiday season please reach out to your therapist (or get one, they can be really helpful) or a close friend or family member about how you feel and what you need. I gave my family a set of rules. For example, I told them that they cannot dish up my plate, they cannot talk about the amount of food I am eating, they cannot judge me while I am being treated for this extremely complex mental and physical disorder, and they absolutely CANNOT give me advice, etc. Stay away from that alcohol. That only makes things worse. During the holiday season, my eating disorder acts up and my anxiety goes up a lot because it feels like everyone is judging you—that constant paranoia about food doesn’t go away, even if you are in recovery (but this may be different for others). Another thing that I have noticed that helps me is sitting with the kids in the basement. That way I won’t feel like I am being judged by all the adults in the family. I just focus on entertaining my hilarious cousins. Hang in there, the holiday season will be over before you know it.
What do you do during the stressful and intense holiday season? What has helped you get through it?