For many of us the upcoming weeks will be filled with holiday planning and family get togethers, things that can often be stressful. Some of us get down during the holidays, or feel overwhelmed about everything that is going on. For some of us the long breaks offer too much free time for rumination and overthinking. I’ve decided to offer some ways you can get yourself through the holiday blues.
Make Gifts Yourself
For those of us who buy gifts for people during the holidays, sometimes it feels like an insurmountable feat to do all the shopping on your own. Perhaps consider making gifts yourself at home. Homemade gifts not only feel more personal and special than a store bought gift, but they also take the stress off of shopping and minimize financial strain. There are plenty of neat DIY tutorials online for gift ideas; it’s definitely something to consider.
If you are concerned about all the free time you will have on your hands during break, maybe consider joining a volunteer group. Because we will be out of school, unless you work a job or have lots of plans, holiday breaks may simply lead to a lot of time to be sad. I know I personally have had a few depressive spells over the holidays when I’m all cooped up inside not doing anything. Consider volunteering somewhere to distract yourself and keep yourself doing something productive. Look online for volunteer options in your area and see if anything interests you.
Get Up at a Consistent Time
Because school will be out and you may not have to get up as early you may want to sleep in, which can easily lead to you spending all day in bed looking at your phone or falling back asleep. Although sleeping in on the holidays is not a crime, sometimes it can go too far and ruin your holiday mood. Make sure you get up at the same time every morning, even if you are still getting up late. Want to sleep in several more hours usual over the break? Great! However, make sure you aren’t waking up at just any random time, it’s not good for your body and can kill productivity. If you decide you are going to sleep till noon everyday, by all means, but make sure to set an alarm so you really are getting up at that time.
Journaling is a great way to keep you mind busy over the holidays. Get a notebook and simply write whatever comes to your mind: you could write about your day, your random thoughts, short stories and poems, weird funky narratives, whatever comes to your mind. If. Moment over the holidays is too much, make up a new one in your journal. You can create a new world in writing to escape into, or use it to reflect on the one you’re in.
Make Plans Outside the House
Even if the weather outside is frightful (haha) don’t shut inside. Try to make plans with friends and family that involve getting out of the house and going somewhere. Being cooped up in your own home resting in static energy can be dull, and can make one feel bored or trapped. Get out of the house!
Keep in Contact
Although people can get very busy over the breaks, try to keep in contact. Talk to people who make you happy and enjoy being around. Consider writing someone a letter or calling someone just to talk. Because so many people go away for the holidays or are swamped with familial plans some of us might feel lonely or lost over the holidays, try to keep in touch with people. Make a little time to communicate with people.
Brainstorm Conversation Topics
This one is a bit of a weird one, but its helped me immensely in past family gatherings. For me holidays have often turned into the perfect breeding ground for weird hostility and family arguments. Brainstorming conversation topics ahead of time is incredibly helpful. Have a family member you always butt heads with and have little to nothing in common with? Think of something ahead of time to avoid conflict. Does your hypothetical uncle have an admiration for automobiles? Read some news stories about car models and other such things, avoid your hypothetical uncle if possible, and if he comes around bring up cars. BOOM! Problem solved.
Note: If you would like to read my article about general self care for over the holidays, or are looking for some fun holiday recipes, check out my Talon profile and give them a read!