Our well-being often shifts during the holidays. In some ways, it can increase. We’re seeing more people and spending more time with the people we love, which is important for emotional health. We may be participating in more religious observances for our spiritual wellness. We might be shopping til we drop, which actually can improve our physical well-being. As Carrie Bradshaw, the star of Sex in the City, famously said, “Shopping is my cardio.”
Our well-being can decrease as well. Not all of the people we spend time with are good for our mental health. We may be missing loved ones who are gone. We may be worried about our finances, and being able to afford all the extra expenses of the season. We might skip our regular exercise or meditation practices. And the food!
Well-Being Can Be Improved During the Holidays
How can we maintain or even improve well-being this time of year? Be gentle with yourself.
What stresses you? Do less of that. Can you say no, or delegate it? You might decide not to do something you’ve always done. You might do it again next year, but this year, if it’s too stressful, maybe you can let it go.
Love what you have to do. If you still have to do something that you usually find stressful, can you do it with the eyes and hands of love? Growing up, in my family we weren’t big on Christmas (or birthday) presents, but now I have loved ones whose love language is gifts. Gifts are important to them, and these people are important to me. I could resent “having to” buy them presents, or I could do what I do: think of them with love, pray to be inspired to find the perfect gift, picture them happily receiving the gift, wrap the gift with hands of love. When I do that, my well-being increases. How about yours?
Well-being Can Take Just a Few Minutes
What gives you joy? Do more of that. Can you schedule a few minutes a day for joy? You might sit quietly in a chair, drinking tea, savoring the sights inside or outside your home. Call someone you love for a quick chat. Take a bit of time to enjoy a hobby.