Be Merry and Bright, Naturally

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I believe that every person is at risk for feeling the holiday blues during the holiday season, and not only does it feel bad, but stress opens the door to physical ailments right here at flu season!

Why It Can Be Hard

  • Christmas comes with high expectations that perfect, happy families enjoy gobs of time together, celebrate all the traditions, and buy elaborate gifts for everyone in their lives.

  • Social media can make it look like everyone is enjoying the Christmas festivities but you. But remember, most people share only the best of their lives when it comes to social media, and only in snippets of time. That mom who just shared pics of her kids in cute little aprons and dozens of baked cookies in the background? That mom may be struggling too. She may have guilted herself into getting it done, stressed her entire way through it, and been less than satisfied with how it really went.

  • Family tensions are rarely more evident than around the holidays.

  • For people who live a secluded lifestyle it can be hard at Christmas, even for those who enjoy the solitude other times of the year.

  • The over materialistic aspect of Christmas can be a stressor for anyone, but there is nothing like it for pointing out financial difficulties.

  • It’s easy to lose faith in mankind during Christmas if we allow ourselves to. Seeing people fighting in the store over getting a good buy on a television, and then smiling when they win their prize at the expense of others can be a hard pill to swallow.

Dealing With Family Tension

  • Set realistic expectations. Christmas might not be the fabulous family reunion you hoped for. Plan how you will manage any feelings of anxiety or depression that may arise.

  • Put the kids first. If you have children, consider putting aside ongoing adult conflicts in their interest. Think about Christmas as a day for the kids and focus on enabling their happiness.

  • Drink in moderation. It may be tempting to drink too much during the festive period, but alcohol can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression, and alcohol can give you loose lips and cause you to lose control.

  • If you expect conflicts, prepare yourself with a neutral response, such as, "Let's talk about that another time," or, "I can see how you would feel that way."

Managing Loneliness

  • Take a chance and reach out! Instead of allowing yourself hunker down, reach out to your friends and family by dropping by with a box of cookies, a dinner invitation, or a phone call.

  • Volunteer. Helping others while connecting with people will help you feel better while you make a positive contribution.

  • Attend community events. From Christmas bazaars to school concerts, getting out and about can help relieve loneliness while supporting the community.

  • Make plans for Christmas Day. Develop a plan in advance to avoid feeling depressed or stressed on the day. Make yourself a special meal, buy yourself a gift in advance to enjoy on the day, or attend a local church service.

  • If you need to, give yourself a timeout and take a walk or call a good friend.

Tips for All of Us

  • Establish restorative routines, such as reading a book or napping. In between shopping and baking, slide in a little something for yourself and make sure these routines don't fall by the wayside.

  • Make getting enough sleep a priority.

  • Get out and walk, especially if you live in areas where you aren’t getting enough light exposure.

  • Cut back on making too many commitments.

  • Shop from the heart by acknowledging that materialism has never in the history of mankind bought true happiness. So allow that to sink in, because materialism is often passed down for generations, so it may take a lot for you to set yourself free by not.

  • Above all! Remember the reason for the season!

Our Favorite Natural Options

The Herbal Toad offers even more options for stabilizing your mood. If you need help choosing what’s right for you, call and speak with an herbalist.