What we are witnessing and experiencing in our world is unimaginable.
Writing about finding peace this Holiday Season is a challenging task. No matter what I come up with, it doesn’t seem to address the heaviness, grief, and trauma some of us have experienced and all of us have witnessed.
How can we find peace when so many people are suffering? How can we enjoy our holidays when many people are grieving or experiencing financial hardships, physical pain, and deep emotional pain? While I don’t have all the answers, I would like to lend some support from a mental health perspective.
Many of us continue to experience everyday overwhelm and stress. While feeling overwhelmed and stressed is common, especially during the holiday season, we all have the power to change how we experience this.
The most significant factor contributing to stress and feeling overwhelmed is our self-criticism. We often believe we need to catch up, should be more organized or creative, and that everyone else has it all together. These thoughts consume our minds and negatively impact our well-being.
These thoughts make us feel inadequate, depressed, anxious and even affect our ability to focus. We start anticipating the worst and downplay our strengths and achievements. And worst of all, we miss out on experiencing the present moment and enjoying what’s right in front of us.
If you find yourself experiencing these thoughts not just during the holidays but throughout the year, I want to offer you something more than just tips. It’s a framework for living your best life despite personal, career, financial, and other stresses. Although these stresses may not disappear, you have the power to thrive despite them.
Here are some ways I have personally learned to live fully with minimal anxiety and stress. I hope they can help you, too:
1) Love yourself unconditionally. This is the most essential step. Learning to love and appreciate yourself changes everything. Most other things will improve when we learn to love ourselves and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. How do you do this? It’s not as easy as saying, “I love myself”; it is a journey that takes commitment and incorporating mind/body techniques. You may need support. If you are struggling with self-love, reach out to us. We can help.
2) Manage your expectations and set realistic goals. Organize your time, make a list, and prioritize what truly matters to you. Don’t overextend yourself. Say no to things that don’t bring you joy. Don’t be disappointed if things are different from the past. Embrace change and create new memories.
3) Create a stress management and self-care plan that works for you. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Incorporate activities like meditation, journaling, yoga, or simply doing things you enjoy. Take care of yourself and make it a priority.
4) Practice gratitude daily. Take the time to appreciate the little things in life and express gratitude for what you have. It will shift your mindset and bring more positivity into your life.
5) Reach out for support when you need it. You don’t have to face everything alone. Seek help from friends, family, or professionals who can provide guidance and support.