The holiday season can be stressful. Read below how Samantha navigates through the holiday season!
As wonderful as the holiday seasons are, the average person can feel more stress than usual. When you worry about your health, day to day life can go from manageable to impossible in the blink of an eye.
Three things have come up for me over the last couple holiday seasons; money, food and socializing.
Having enough money to get presents, buy food, or pay for gas/travel is hard on most anyone. If you’re only able to work part time, or maybe not at all the pressures of gift giving can be too much.
If you find yourself struggling to purchase gifts for others, search the internet for some easy DIY gifts. I’ve realized over the years that while presents are exchanged during the holidays, they’re not the most important part. I love making gifts, or baking as a gift for someone. I can’t purchase lavish gifts, but I can put a little love in a craft or some cookies, and that’s not something you can put a price on.
Participating in social events usually revolve around food, people offering you food, or inevitably asking why you’re not eating the food is stressful and alienating. I would get really anxious before such events because the entire day was about something I couldn’t have.
When it comes to food, it can be tricky. I found that it’s easier to bring my own food, and/or making a dish of something I can tolerate. There’s always a chance there will be something I can eat, but if not, I have my safe foods packed and ready to go. Being prepared lessens the burden, and even if you’re eating something different, you won’t be sitting at the table with an empty plate. If you’re unable to tolerate anything at all, try talking to the host ahead of time to find the best way for you to participate.
Participating in social events is exhausting. There’s a lot more that goes into getting ready than most realize. More often than not, you have used all your spoons before you have even left the house and already in need of a nap.
If you feel yourself fading, and you know you may start to struggle, tell someone. More often than not, friends and family won’t want you to push yourself past your limits if you can help it. Be honest with yourself and those around you about your needs.
The holidays have definitely become different over the years. I remember feeling awkward as people around me ate while I didn’t; when friends and family, meaning only the best, tried to get me to eat, not accepting when I politely declined. I would need a nap, or at least some rest about half way through the day. I felt embarrassed when my gift giving was less than those around me. The holidays became a time that easily reminded me I’m not like everyone else.
It’s true, I’m not like everyone else, but I find a way to make myself fit. For instance, I learned how to space out my responsibilities leading up to these social events so it wasn’t so overwhelming. I don’t do the shopping and cooking on the same day. I pick one thing to accomplish each day, so my to-do list doesn’t feel impossible. I also learned that it’s okay to ask for help. As much as I want to be able to complete everything, sometimes I can’t. I realized that no one expects me to do it all on my own, and I had to remind myself that as much as I like to think I can do it all, sometimes I can’t, and that’s when I call in the cavalry. (Usually my mom!)
As always, don’t forget to take care of yourself during the holidays. It’s easy to get lost in the stresses so don’t forget to breathe, rest and enjoy every moment you can.
Do you have any tips to get for getting through the holidays? We’d love to hear about them! Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org!