The holidays at the end of the year are supposed to be joyful celebrations of family and friends, but for many people they are a time of increased stress and depression. Holiday blues are a very real thing! Here’s an idea to improve that.
Lower your expectations: We are far too influenced by the media to create “Hallmark moments” during the holidays. That Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving dinner, the house decorated for Christmas, and shopping for gifts. This pressure exists largely because of the media.
Retailers make the bulk of their profits at Christmas time, so the advertising agencies go into overdrive to convince you that you NEED to get a gift for everyone you care about. We are bombarded by these ads on TV and social media. And more families go into debt for Christmas which can cause even more stress!
So minimize the time you spend watching TV and browsing online during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Step away from the pressure of advertising and look at things realistically. This is NOT what the holidays are about. It’s about time spent together reconnecting with our loved ones. Life is so busy we don’t make time for this the way we should.
Instead of buying gifts (that you might not be able to afford, and they probably don’t even need) give the gift of time. Invite them over for cookies and conversation, or popcorn and hot chocolate. If you LIKE to cook, make the goodies yourself, but store-bought treats are fine.
Some families plan a cookie-bake together where they bring a container with premade dough for cookies and they roll/cut them out and bake them all as a group and share them with each other.
Another option is to have a family movie night where you will have popcorn and hot cocoa and watch some favorite holiday movie together.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, because this is about spending time together. Making this happen tells them that you care about them. And in the process your spirits will be lifted as well.
More ideas to come…