Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! For some, the holiday season truly does feel like a joyful time. But for others, the expectation of merriment and connection that comes along with this time of year can highlight mental health issues in a way that exacerbates feelings of unhappiness. If you are one of these people, know that you are not alone. Try to be gentle with yourself, release yourself from unrealistic expectations of perfection, and take things slow. You will get through this.
Even if you are a person who loves this time of year, a period of extreme joyfulness followed by Christmas's abrupt end may feel like a shock. Waking up today on the 26th and maybe needing to return to work probably involved snapping back to reality in an unwelcome way. The holidays can also be expensive, so maybe you're looking at your bank account this morning and realizing that you spent more than you budgeted on gifts for others.
No matter the circumstances you find yourself in, keep in mind that post holiday self care is never a bad idea. If you are someone who just put forth a lot of effort figuring out what gifts your loved ones would like, consider including yourself in that list. Gift giving can be a love language, so show yourself some love by engaging in free or low cost self care, and considering it a present from you. Here are some ideas:
POST HOLIDAY SELF CARE WISH LIST
- light some candles and take a bath at the end of the day, allowing yourself to relax and unwind
- write in a journal or draw in a sketchbook
- cuddle with a cat, dog, or other furry friend
- blast your favorite song and dance like a weirdo
- take a thermos of hot cocoa on a walk around your neighborhood or a favorite part of your city
- cook a healthy meal for yourself that you know you'll enjoy
- make a list of things you are grateful for
- pick up a book of poetry by Rumi at your local library and let his take on love, humanity, and mysticism inspire you
- watch a tv show that makes you laugh out loud
- go to bed early one night and enjoy the peaceful, rejuvenating feelings that come alone with getting enough sleep
Start out by giving yourself these moments of self care as gifts, then consider making them a part of your daily routine. Would any of the ideas above work to support your New Year's Resolution? Which of these do you already engage in? Is there a special gift you would like to give yourself this season? I would love to hear from you in the comments!