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5 Ways to Thrive Through the Holiday Season

5 Ways to Thrive Through the Holiday Season

The holiday season is supposed to be merry and bright, right? Yet, so many people struggle with “surviving” it. For some, time with family is a warm invitation to revisit those happy childhood memories…the food, the laughter, basking in the family traditions, sharing the tears when thinking of those who are no longer here to celebrate with the family. For others, it is akin to soaking in an emotional acid bath because maybe the childhood memories aren’t so happy; maybe their family is all gone, or they live far away; maybe they suffer from depression; maybe they are home-bound. There are so many reasons people may find themselves struggling to hold on to their joy during this time of year.

Here are some tools you might find helpful to enjoy this season more:

1. Identify the things about the holiday season that bring you joy (i.e., cooking for the family, finding that perfect gift, volunteering at your local shelters for people and/or animals)

2. Create a plan which will allow you to bask in each one of those activities. For example, if you love cooking because it reminds you of being crammed in the kitchen with your grandma, mom, aunts, and cousins cooking a meal, then make food for those special people in your life and deliver it to them. Or, if you love a decorated home for Christmas, make sure your lights greet you when you get home by using timers to turn them on.

3. Plan at least one new adventure! Maybe it is stepping out of your comfort zone and caroling with the neighbors or church group, hosting an ugly sweater party for your friends and family, hosting an ornament or cookie exchange, etc., or saying yes to one of those invitations from a new or old friend.

4. You might have certain members of your family who may elicit a heavy sigh or groan when you see their number on caller I.D.

These are the people you do your best to avoid the rest of the year, and it becomes more difficult to do during the holidays. How can you keep them from stealing your joy? By setting firm, kind, healthy boundaries for yourself. Make plans that allow you to keep your interactions to a minimum and have an exit strategy in place. The bottom line is you can’t change or control another’s actions, so you must take responsibility for your own.

5. During the gift-giving season, try baking treats if you prefer to gift things that can be used and enjoyed. This gift is personal, and no storage is required after the holidays are over. If baking isn’t your thing, try to be thoughtful, stick to your budgetary restrictions, and plan in advance so you’re not out among the crazy crowds at the last minute unless you choose to be. Maybe the “gift” could be just getting together for a meal or a movie. Whatever you choose, just keep your stress to a minimum – relax and enjoy the moment. 

Mark Your Calendars!   The Morter HealthSystem office will be closed from December 22nd through January 1st for the Christmas and New Year holidays.