Even before acknowledging my depression, the holidays could be stressful.
Expectations about what “should” happen can make things uncomfortable at best. When I would go into the holidays without clearly thinking about what I want and need for self-care, the outcomes were generally ok, sometimes good, but unpredictable.
This year, I am thinking about the holidays, before they occur.
I can envision the different activities coming up. This includes getting a Christmas tree. Then decorating the tree, which includes bringing up the boxes of lights and ornaments from the basement, finding the tree stand, cutting off the last inch of the tree so it can drink better and not shed its needles so quickly. And I didn’t list getting out the saw, clearing the space for the tree in front of the living room window, which means taking the cushion seat with games in it into one of the bedrooms.
Wow, I’m heading down the rabbit hole and the holidays haven’t started.
Borrowing from a list of 25 ways to de-stress the holidays, keeping self-care top of mind, here is my top ten list:
10 Ways I am De-stressing the Holidays
- Get outside in the sun
- Make sure I exercise
- Do less, don’t overload myself
- Remember my daily routine
- Don’t obsess over perfection
- Get out of the house
- Be open to new customs and ideas
- Smell citrus
- Take time off from my cell phone
Today there has already been a lot going on.
It’s a collection of the routine stuff and getting my truck in for body work after hitting a deer. Then there is a visit to someone in the hospital, a meeting and then Peer Support. The day will end after I get home and cook dinner.
But, thinking about events ahead of time has been working well for me.
I used that when we had company, when we traveled and sometimes when I am going to work. Visualizing and thinking about my expectations for things can make the situations much less stressful and much more enjoyable.
How are you planning to spend the holidays?