It’s that time of year again. We are all putting our jack-o-lanterns in the trash and deciding when it will be socially acceptable to put up our Christmas trees. (the answer is whenever you damn please, by the way) 

While we will still have our trees and our decorations, it will be hard to forget that the 2020 holiday season will look and feel different. The last 8 months have rocked the globe. Some people have lost work, lost their homes, and lost people they love. There are a lot of things that need to heal.

But don’t let the weight of the year put pressure on this holiday season. You don’t need to make up for all the gatherings you had to postpone or cancel. Dealing with the holidays is stressful ANY year, and this year will be the same way. That’s why it is more important than ever to take care of yourself, and find ways to relax and destress between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. 

Here are some tips to take care of yourself this season, so you can enjoy the holidays without pulling your hair out!

#1 Remind Yourself Of What You’re Grateful For

This one seems obvious, especially around Thanksgiving, but it can be easy to forget. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the Christmas shopping, or unable to celebrate the way you always do because of Covid-19 restrictions, remind yourself how blessed you really are. 

Remember what has gone right. 

Remind yourself that you are grateful to still have your grandparents in your life even if they cannot come to the family party due to health concerns. 

Remind yourself that you have access to technology that makes connecting with your loved ones and spreading holiday cheer easier. 

Remind yourself that you are lucky to have a roof over your head, and food on the table. 

We all have something to be grateful for, even when it feels like the world is falling apart around us. 

#2 Take Care Of Your Body

Stress can have huge impacts on not just your mental health, but also your physical health. Taking time to check in with your body and do something for yourself is key. When you are starting to become overwhelmed, find a way to move. Go on a walk, hit the peloton, or do a free dance workout video on youtube! 

Remember what Elle Woods said about exercise, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins makes you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands!”

We all carry our stress in our bodies, if you can find a way to move you can hopefully move some of the stress out!

#3 Consider Why You’re Experiencing The Emotions + ASK FOR HELP

Sometimes we can’t just push feelings to the side. Even though that is usually more appealing than confronting them. You have to ask yourself why you’re feeling stress or anxiety. 

If you can get to the root of what is making you feel overwhelmed, you may find there are actionable steps that would help you. 

For example, you might be really on edge with your husband, but actually your stress and edginess may have nothing to do with him! 

In reality you’re stressing out because you have family coming to stay at your house in 2 days and your kitchen and guest room are a hot mess, you need to go to the grocery store, you never finished the Christmas shopping,  and you just found out your sister-in-law is now a vegan!

If you can determine what is actually causing you stress, you can tackle it. (and it doesn’t all have to be your responsibility!) Ask for help! Talk to your husband! Give him the list from the grocery store, ask your kids to help you clean the kitchen, ask your sister-in-law if she wants to make a vegan side dish for the party. Small steps can make you feel infinitely better about a stressful situation!

#4 Be Present

Wait… what??? 

I know what you’re thinking! The whole purpose of this blog post was to give you a way to escape the stress of the holidays, and now I’m telling you to be present in it. 

But hear me out! No matter how crazy your family is, or how upset you are that you can’t travel home for the holidays, or how disappointed you are that you aren’t in a financial position to buy as many presents as you usually do, it is still a time of year to cherish your friends and family, and to find reasons to smile. 

So take things slower, make space for conversations about gratefulness, family, and love. Tell your people you’re glad you can celebrate with them, even if it’s over zoom!

We have all been through enough this year, let’s do everything in our power to make sure the Holidays are a break from everything else. 

#5 Laugh

If all else fails, and your plans are cancelled, the turkey burns, the amazon truck loses your presents. 

Just laugh! None of it will matter in 5 months. So if it won’t matter in 5 months, don’t give it 5 minutes. 

Turn on your favorite comedy, tell jokes, play silly drinking games on zoom with your cousins. There are a lot of things in this life we can’t control. So when all else fails, find a way to laugh…and share some puns. 🙂

xx- Angelica