The Holiday Season: Surviving or Thriving?

The Holiday Season: Surviving or Thriving?
Michelle A. Culver, LMFT

As the holidays are upon us, most will focus on what we are doing for others: spending time together, what gifts to give, and the food to be shared. While these activities are fulfilling in the long run, they cause stress in the moment. Some of the stress might sound like, “Did I get the best gift for dad?” “How am I going to accommodate twenty people at my house?” “Should I make three desserts, or will that be too much?”

But, the one question you should be asking yourself is “How am I taking care of myself during this stressful time?” Some may say it is selfish to focus on self-care, however it is necessary. There are many wonderful parts to the holidays but there is also increased stress. You can survive the holidays by going about your activities and riding the stress wave, or you can thrive through the holidays with self-care.

People respond to stress differently, yet the universal answer to stress is to take care of yourself. Self-care takes many forms as no two people choose the same activity. One idea is to incorporate a little exercise into your day. It could be as simple as parking at the end of the lot and walking a little further. To cut stress you could take a warm bubble bath, read a book, or listen to music. It is about finding an activity that helps you take a breath and relax for a few moments. If you can balance the excitement and stress of the season with calm and relaxing self-care, that would be THRIVING through the holidays!