Hello dear ones, it’s especially easy to fall victim to the myth of the perfect woman during the holidays…baking cookies, finding a special gift for everyone in your life, hosting parties, decorating the home, all the while carrying on with your normal hectic routine.
When I was a young, working mother with one infant, a wise woman gave me this piece of advice regarding my holiday celebrations: “Pick one thing and do it well every year.” Keeping in touch with friends and family is important to me, and I really enjoy being creative, so I chose to make a tradition of sending a family photo Christmas card each year. Yes, I still buy gifts for friends and do many other things to celebrate the holidays, but the pressure is off and I don’t strive for perfection in any area…not even in my holiday card making!
Here are seven tips for a more peaceful, joyous holiday season:
- Minimize the junk! Don’t buy things you don’t need or that will only bring brief entertainment and no lasting value and joy to your life.
- Focus on others in need. Instead of buying gifts for all the adults in your family, consider giving a group gift to Compassion International, a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for children living in extreme poverty around the world.
- Stay healthy! Don’t sacrifice your sleep or overindulge in sugar. Choose the most nutritious food options that are available to you at any given time. Hydrate and eat before you go to holiday parties to avoid gaining extra pounds this year.
- De-stress with some alone time. Bundle up and take a quiet walk or enjoy a soothing, warm bath with lavender essential oil and Epsom salts.
- Boost resilience. Consider adding an adaptogenic herbal tea (e.g. Holy Basil) to your daily routine to increase your body’s resilience during stressful times. If you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any prescription medications, be sure to consult your physician or natural health practitioner prior to taking herbs.
- Reach out for help if you need it! The holidays can be particularly difficult if you have suffered a loss (e.g. divorce, death of a loved one, bankruptcy) or if you are feeling lonely or isolated. If you are experiencing grief, depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, please don’t suffer in silence. Call your doctor, counselor, pastor, trusted friend or loved one. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress at 1-800-273-8255.
- Remember the reason for the season:)
Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season and a Merry Christmas!
Cynthia Libert, M.D.