Getting into the Holiday Spirit!
I feel as though this is mentioned in every post thus far, but it is no secret that the state of the world is quite chaotic nowadays. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge that, but also to make sure that we are still taking care of ourselves and allowing ourselves to feel peace, and still relishing in the joys that the holidays and winter season can bring us.
When I was younger, the holidays were my favorite time of the year and winter was my favorite season. I loved waking up to a fresh white coat of snow painted on the ground, the sky as blue as ever and the air cool and crisp. It’s an innocent feeling that I don’t believe needs to fade away with age, which is why I wanted to compile a short and sweet list of things that we can do this holiday season that will help us keep up our joy.
The first thing that I think is important, nowadays more than ever is to take a moment to reflect on the year, and physically write down all of the things you are grateful for. It can be easy to get caught up in the hardships we’ve all experienced and to let those overwhelming feelings cloud our experiences to the point where we forget to acknowledge all the wonderful, bright things in our life. By taking a moment as the year comes to a close to reminisce on happy memories we’ve experienced, lessons we’ve learned, and the things we are privileged to have is a good way to turning any negative feelings into something positive, even if for a short moment. So try to turn on some great, feel good music and take a moment to be still and remember all the beautiful things still occurring.
Another way to help maintain our mental health as the days grow shorter, darker and colder is to ensure that there is a separation between work and home! With the pandemic, unless you are deemed an “essential worker,” you are most likely working from home. Your professional setting and your comfort settling blend into one another and finding a way to differentiate your time and headspace can grow increasingly difficult, making for an overall stressful and overwhelming work/home dynamic. I think in order to fix that, we have to make the time to allow ourselves to wind down and partake in activities that are clearly “for fun.” One of my favorite things to do is orchestrate a movie night.
After a long day, I love to watch movies, but especially Christmas movies nowadays because of their wholesomeness. Turning down all the lights, allowing for the warm glow of the Christmas tree to permeate the room always feels exciting, like that moment in the theatre when the lights go down and you know the show is about to begin. Cuddling up in bed or on the couch, with a thick, plush blanket draped over your one’s legs always made me feel so small, but safe and protected. Protection is something we all need, so to be able to experience it even on a smaller scale always helps put me at ease.
Another thing I love to do is FaceTime/video chat with my family and friends.
I have been unable to see them this year, for obvious reasons, so being able to still connect with them means the absolute world to me. Again, I think the days blending into one due to the pandemic and stay at home orders makes it so much easier to neglect your relationships, but it is so important that we refrain from doing that! Our relationships are what ground us, the people in our lives help us keep afloat and even a quick, ten-minute conversation with those that you love and care for is enough to put you in a better mood than you were before. And not only does it benefit you, but it also makes them feel special and appreciated—maybe something that they also need to be reminded in these tumultuous times.
We are all a community, and it’s important for us to all be there for one another.