Keeping your sanity during the festive season (or any other time of the year)

When it comes to the festive season, it is as if people are more rushed, yet tired and snap easily.  Is it due to the stress and rush of the past year or is it partly due to the excitement in the air?  For many people the festive season is bliss; wonderful days by the fire-side, playing outside in the snow or, if you live in warmer climates, lazy days by the pool or on the beach.  However, for some people this time of the year is quite depressing and not a restful period.  The reasons vary – it can be loneliness, entertaining the family and friends and/or the weather!

What to do when the “blues” starts creeping in when you are supposed to be having fun and look forward to the holidays?  Breathe!  When you take slow, deep breathes your heart rate automatically starts to become slower.  Breathing deeply allows more oxygen to flow into your body, automatically calming you down.  Another way to handle it is to take it day-by-day.  Make a list of what needs to be done and if you have family and/or friends, delegate and share the food-preparation, for example.  Decide beforehand what you can afford to spend on gifts; after all, it is not the price tag that is most important but the love and idea behind the gift.  Try making your own gift.  There are so many great ideas online and in magazines, that there is something for everyone!

If you are spending this time alone and you dread it, make sure to either connect with friends or people in the neighbourhood.  Being alone can be depressing, however, when you reach out to others, things change.  When your space becomes small, go outside.  I have said it before – nature is the best medicine and companion when you are alone.  Focusing on what you have (whether you are alone this time or not), instead of what you don’t, is a game-changer.  Enjoying the season, the colours, the ambience of the festive season, and everything else, is good for your soul.  Listening to upbeat music and watching comedies are another way of lifting your spirit up.  Music soothes the soul and laughing is, the best medicine!

Getting everything ready for the festive season can become hectic when you work full-day and have a house to run.  Shopping for presents before December is a great idea, as is having a list.  A grocery list is always handy, not just during the festive season, but anytime you want to entertain guests or your family.  A wish-list of what people (including the kids) want, is another great idea and takes the stress off not knowing what to buy.  Personally, I like giving people what they want, instead of buying or making something that they either never use or throw away.

This time of year, is a time not only to reflect, but also to give.  Giving does not have to be money; it can be your time, your love, yourself.  It is a time to come together with family and friends; to be grateful for everything and everyone you have.  It is a time to relax and enjoy the lights!  Have a blessed, peaceful and joyous festive season everyone!

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