It’s ok to feel insecure, to feel stressed, to panic thinking at what the future might bring, it’s ok to feel down and disoriented. There’s no need on trying to hide your emotions, instead let them be and try to discuss about all that with someone that you trust, a therapist or a close friend.
Your feelings are valid, and you need to tell yourself just that. Feeling vulnerable and stressed out this time of the year is something normal that all of us are experiencing. How we manage to get through all this is what’s really important.
It’s particularly hard when everyone else just seems to have their shit together, beaming with confidence and trust, bursting with holiday spirit, when you simply don’t know how to pull yourself together and find new ways of surviving both the pandemic and the winter holidays.
But keep in mind that most of the people that seem so well put together, so happy, so relaxed, and so trustful regarding the future, are probably feeling just as miserably, disoriented, and confused about their lives as you do, and are just faking it.
Nothing is supposed to be in a certain way!
Christmas is not the most magical time of the year. Get that thought out of your mind, because holidays are not supposed to be in a certain way, and you are not supposed to think or feel in a certain way. Setting high expectations and expecting things to go according to a well-established plan can only lead to disappointments. Take everything as it comes and don’t worry about how the holiday spirit is supposed to be felt.
Count your blessings
Every morning set up a routine. Write in a notebook, in a note app on your phone or just say out loud, something you’re thankful for. These days is easy to get ourselves distracted and overwhelmed by all the bad things that happen to us or around us, and we lose track of all the positive things still going on in our lives. Naming a few of the things you’re grateful for each morning helps you re-balance the scale.
Traditions can be changed
You have a certain way of spending the winter month and especially Christmas? Maybe you’re used to taking a long vacation and spend some time with family or friends, or maybe your tradition is to escape on a tropical island, as a reward for a year of hard work. Now, at the end of a completely hectic, weird, and different year, it may be hard to stick to your traditions, especially when traveling is so difficult and meeting with friends and family must be done while respecting social distancing.
That’s why this is the moment to leave the old traditions aside, at least for this year, and make new traditions that can fit into the new standards imposed by our financial possibilities and by the safety regulations.
Stay close, although apart
This is the time to stay connected to your circle of friends and family. Having a support system is vital in order to beat Christmas blues and the worries regarding what the new year may bring.
Set up a weekly phone date with your closest friends. Do a group call when all of you are free and just have a chat, each of you with a glass of wine in your hands. This way you still feel close and connected, although apart. Talk about your fears and have a laugh, open-up and be honest about your emotions and be a support for one another. You all need this so lean on your friends while you also provide a shoulder for them to cry on. It’s easier when you’re together so use the friendship card as your most trusted weapon against winter depression.
Cross of your list the unimportant things
You don’t have to buy fancy gifts to all your relatives or call all your uncles and aunts that you hear only once a year. This is the time to forget about conventions and focus only on what’s really important. The rest is a waste of positive energy.
What’s truly important for you? If doing a major clean up around the house, spending a lot of money (that you may currently don’t have) on fancy gifts, or running like crazy to meet other people expectations, does not make you happy, then just drop it and focus on what makes you happy and offers you a feeling of completion.
It may be at a homeless shelter, an animal shelter or any other activity that brings you joy. Volunteering takes your mind of your problems and fears and helps you focus on something that you can actually do, instead of staying at home and panicking about things that you can’t truly change, like the social and political climate of the country, your financial security and so on. Choose a cause you believe in and do something to help.
Having some free time on your hands can be the best moment to rediscover yourself and to find if you have any other hidden talents. You can try knitting funny scarfs or hats, painting, jewelry making, cooking, or even start a vlog on something you are good at like make up, or advice from your profession and so on.
Find something to focus on and you can be amazed to discover some incredible hidden talents underneath the surface.
Let us know what you do to keep yourself busy and not stress over money, bookings, or health these days. Every advice might be gold for another person, so share if you care!