This time of year can be such an exciting and happy one for so many of us. The lights decorated on houses and trees, the cheerful music on the radio, and the smell of holiday baking in the air can fill our homes and hearts with love and contentment. While many of us rejoice in this holiday spirit, the holiday season can be an overwhelming, stressful, and even lonely time for many others. Financial challenges, loss of loved ones, and the pressures of expectations can all factor into making these next few weeks a difficult time.
For those of you who might be experiencing some of these challenges this winter season, we wanted to give you a few helpful tips and reminders to make this season a little brighter:
1. Stop and take a breath. It sounds simple and cliche, but we too often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives that we forget to stop for a moment and check in with ourselves. How are we feeling in this very moment? What do we need right now? Remember that you are only one person. Sometimes we are not able to get everything done in one day, and that is perfectly okay. You are not a failure, you are human.
2. Remember it’s okay to say no. We’ve all been there, where we put too much on our plate and suddenly we become overwhelmed with everything we agreed to take on. If you would rather stay home and have a night to yourself instead of going to that holiday party your friend invited you to, that’s okay. Know your limits and remember that you are not a bad person for putting yourself first. Self care is NOT selfish.
3. Reach out. Do not feel like you are expected to handle everything on your own. Reaching out and asking for support is a sign of strength, not weakness. You never have to suffer in silence, someone is always there to listen. It’s also easy to isolate yourself, especially in the cold winter months, but this often makes us feel even more alone. Try to go for coffee with a friend, take a walk outside, or visit your favourite bookstore. Whatever it is that makes you feel good, do more of it.
From everyone at The Paul Hansell Foundation, we wish all of you a healthy and happy holiday season, and best wishes for the New Year!