What a difference a year makes. Last year my Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast focused on how to beat holiday stress. I gave such timeless tips to help lower stress.
As I relistened to that 2019 holiday podcast, I realized it just does not capture what is going on this year. The holiday is complicated by the Coronavirus.
This year the holiday stress is increased for different reasons than other years.
We are asked, in my area, to stay at home. I know everyone is going to consider what is their right way to handle this holiday. The stress is still real.
Some reasons for holiday stress the year are:
- You might worry if you should stay home?
- You might wonder if there is a safe way to visit others.
- You are tired of the Coronavirus and want it to be over.
- You might have financial stress (lots of people are unemployed or underemployed)
- You might not have seen your family and friends in such a long time.
- Sadness due to the ongoing struggle with the Coronavirus in our country.
- People you know and love might be sick or have lost their lives due to the Coronavirus.
- You are staying home and sitting more often than before.
- Some places of worship are closed from person to person interactions.
These are all good reasons for sadness and loneliness.
Get in touch with those feelings of sadness and loneliness. Start by taking note of how your sadness if affecting you. I like to journal to determine how I feel and why. One way to notice sadness is by checking in with yourself and asking, “How do I feel?”
I like to measure sadness (really any feelings) on a 1-10 scale. If you get to the 7-10 range that is the time for concern.
If you are overly sad, please seek out licensed therapist. There are thousands of qualified and good therapists who can help you. It is easier than ever to find a therapist on Google and many therapists are providing services virtually.
Here are some tips to help you with feeling sad over this holiday:
- Meet with others virtually, by phone, in person (as appropriate) or by mail. This person to person connection is what we need. I think that has become more apparent than ever during this time of lock downs and closures.
- Have reasonable expectations. You might not be able to see the people you want to see or do the activities you would normally do. Sadness is reasonable in this situation. Consider what you could actually do, given the state of our community right now.
- Get active. I have found I have been sitting TOO MUCH. I have been working from home and on virtual call a lot. I have made it a priority to get outside and be active 5 times a week for 1 hour. It has contributed so much to my mental health.
- Keep a routine. I cannot express enough how having a routine helps our mental health. Go to bed on time, eat food that nourishes you, be active, talk to others and do something fun.
- Be creative. I have been following some crafters on Facebook and I am having such a good time crafting. This has been such a win for me. In the past, especially at Thanksgiving, I would have never taken this much time to craft. Find a hobby and do it.
- Notice if emotional eating is coming into play. Check out my blogs on emotional eating to help you see food differently and join us in my private Facebook group: Feed Your Soul Community.
Get into action to help decrease Holiday Sadness!
Take one of the suggestions above and DO IT.
I know you feel sad. I get it. I also know that this pandemic will probably be going on longer, so now we need to see what can be done to help with the feelings. My plan is to keep my routine, get out and be active (we have a 5k and a hike planned) and I plan to journal and be mindful about my sadness. This plan will help me. Make sure to determine a plan for yourself. There is a way to lessen the sadness and experience more peace.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration.
You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms.