Why doesn’t it feel like the most wonderful time of the year for everyone?There are many ways that holidays this season rush at us as though we are passengers in a winter sleigh. Sometimes, we lose control of the reins to the sleigh, and the horses drive us through rough snow-covered terrain. Sometimes, we feel far from home even after getting off that sleigh. Sometimes, we find empty boxes due to divides in relationships, torn ribbons of memories from loved ones we cannot share joy with, or empty stockings because we lack resources and time.
Other times, we are in control of our sleigh, and we are able to greet everyone with a smile and meet needs as a parent, sibling, grandparent, child, friend, or neighbor. Even then, remember that not everyone has the same appreciation or perspective of this season's gifts. Ask yourself, do you have enough or too much? Are your gifts those of time, people, things, or experiences?
All of these things can affect our wellness this holiday season.
Tip 1: Budgeting
Avoid financial hangovers that will cause you stress in the weeks, months, or year ahead.
Tip 2: Maintaining Healthy Social and Family Contact
Know your limits and boundaries, and what helps you and others feel safe and nurtured.
Tip 3: Have Enough, but Not Too Much
Food, cookies, drinks, company—everything in moderation for you and others around you.
Tip 4: Share the Load
Whether planning an event, dinner, or activities, let others help and contribute.
Tip 5: Acknowledge and Address Your Mental Well-Being
If you are dealing with loss, trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc., reach out and communicate or relieve some of the burden to a trusted loved one, utilize community resources, or focus on decreasing your isolation through volunteering, community events, and more.
Self-care is of utmost importance to those who temporarily experience distress, anxiety, or depression for the season or throughout the year. It is critical we normalize all the layers of emotions and responses people can have and reach out when someone needs resources and support.
There are many ways to find help to maintain your well-being.
- United Way 2-1-1 is a free, confidential information and referral helpline that provides direction to resources.
- Find volunteer opportunities through Volunteer Now if you need ideas on how to give your time to others.
- Use Foundation 2 crisis line or Iowa Help Line to call, text, or chat with someone who can listen and advise.