The holidays can be a festive and beautiful time of year for many, but for others, it can be a very sad, nostalgic, and lonely time. The holiday season can bring about a range of different emotions. We are all different and experience our lives in our own unique way.
Here are 10 tips to help keep your holidays bright:
- Keep busy. Stick to your routine, but plan ahead. A to-do list can help you keep on track and stop responsibilities from piling up. If you are feeling blue, try to stop and take a deep breath, re-prioritize, and start up again. Maybe everything on that to-do list does not need to be checked off this year.
- Do what you enjoy. Read, knit, watch a great movie, bake something healthy, send greeting cards, take a nap, sleep in, spend some time alone, read a book, garden, etc.
- Be realistic and set achievable expectations. Set a budget and stick to it. Children grow up, families move away, we age and change, and some of those old holiday traditions may change too. Sometimes we have to be open to create new traditions and streamline what we once did.
- Now and then, a good cry can help. Talk to a friend, your mom or dad, an aunt or uncle, your kids, a clergy member, a favorite teacher, or anyone you trust to help you sort out your feelings. Life can be a roller coaster. We are not always happy 100% of the time. Try to make most of your day’s happy days. Seek help when needed.
- Giving back can brighten your spirits. Look for volunteering opportunities or contribute to a favorite charity. Help one person that you see may be in need. It can be as simple as opening a door or saying good morning and sharing a friendly smile. Be aware of a lonely neighbor that might need some cheer.
- Eat healthy, try not to overindulge too much, and get plenty of exercise. Eating healthy can help stabilize your mood and blood sugar. Stay hydrated. Get 30 minutes of daily exercise and plenty of sleep. Exercise can make you feel better, and it is something good you can do for yourself.
- Be kind. Be mindful of your verbal and non-verbal responses and limit time with individuals that may trigger unwanted feelings or conversations. Refocus any bad energy that seeps in and convert it to good energy. These times are times to take that deep breath.
- Engage in positive thinking. Don’t overreact. Be resilient. I have had many holidays where the dishwasher, air conditioner, or the refrigerator suddenly breaks. Sometimes we have to turn those “lemons” into lemonade. Control what you can control.
- Be grateful every day and find something small to celebrate. I have an elderly friend who is grateful each morning (each new day) that her feet touch the floor, and her shaky hand is able to reach for the coffee pot. Write a note of gratitude to someone who has impacted you and made a difference in your life.
- Reach out for help and assistance if needed. Your mental health is important. Tell someone how they can help you. Keep connected to avoid feeling isolated or lonely. Talk to a good friend or family member, if you are comfortable. Today we can text, phone, or video chat with people that don’t live locally. If you can’t seem to shake the sadness and feel depressed, seek out professional help. See the references below.
The holidays don’t have to be times of sadness, chaos or full of overwhelming stressors. The simplest of times are sometimes the most memorable and appreciated. Take a deep breath. Keep your life in balance and on track.
I hope you will find peace, joy, and comfort during the holidays.
Follow the Rainbow for Good Health – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2022/03/01/follow-the-rainbow-for-good-health-during-nutrition-month/
5 Reasons to Exercise Today – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2022/06/22/five-reasons-to-start-exercising-today/
Time to focus on self-care – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2021/07/26/time-to-focus-on-self-care/
211 in Broward County, FL – https://211-broward.org/about/
Suicide and Crisis Hotline – Dial 988 https://www.fcc.gov/988-suicide-and-crisis-lifeline
Emergency number: Dial 911
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – https://nicic.gov/national-suicide-prevention-lifeline
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks – https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/sma14-4885
Stress and Coping – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
5 Things you should know about stress – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert
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