“I desperately want to be alone. It’s okay to take time for yourself.” ~ Kate Allan
The holiday season, they say, is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s not for all of us. Vacations can be one of the most difficult times of the year for those of us dealing with the loss of loved ones, family estrangements, loneliness, financial hardships, or health issues.
For some of us, the holidays can feel as if we’ve been kicked out in the cold.
Many of us are filled with longing for the things that never exist, such as spending more time with our deceased loved ones and supportive family members. We find ourselves immersed in memories of past vacations and daydreaming about what our vacations would be like if we lived a different life.
We feel the pressure to hide our problems, bake a dozen cookies, wear happy smiles and ugly Christmas sweaters, and attend that office holiday party. Smile, engage in exhausting small talk, and try to avoid the topic of what you will be doing on vacation as much as possible.
These events can completely drain us. We buy obligatory gifts for our friends and colleagues and spend hours figuring out what they like. I worry that I may have missed the mark.
Some of us are obsessed with hosting parties and making our trees look absolutely perfect, desperate to please others and give people the impression that all is well. increase.
Society fills our heads with unrealistic notions of the perfect gift, a stark white house adorned with gorgeous matching décor, endless resources to spend, and happy times spent with family. Some of us feel exhausted and stressed trying to meet social pressures and other people’s expectations.
Over the years, having suffered various losses in my life and feeling abandoned by my family, I have learned that the most important thing you can do while on vacation is to take care of yourself.
As an altruistic person who strives to please others, taking care of yourself is not easy. I used to feel guilty about putting my own needs first, but over the years I have learned that my own needs are just as important as those of others. If you sacrifice yourself to please, you can harm yourself and others around you.
If you’re struggling this holiday season, take some time to reflect. you I want to spend my holidays You don’t have to buy the perfect gift for everyone, decorate the tree, decorate the whole house, spend hours baking cookies, and attending family gatherings.
If you’re worried that your friend will be disappointed by not attending the event, you can suggest meeting them for coffee when you feel like it.
I used to worry that my friends would judge me for not attending holiday events. But over the years, I’ve learned that true friends are empathetic and don’t judge us as needing to take time for ourselves.
The most important thing you can do if you’re struggling with the holiday season is to pay attention to your needs and do what you think is best for you.
If you want to curl up on the couch with Netflix, a good book and your pet instead of going to a party or family gathering, give yourself permission. there is.
If you’re someone who’s used to being busy, the holidays can be more difficult as work is often closed or later than other times of the year.
New recipes you want to cook or bake, helpful house cleaning, movies/shows you want to see, places you want to go to see the Christmas lights, and so on. I also buy myself things I’ve always wanted but don’t necessarily need as a form of self-love and self-affirmation.
I also participate in volunteer activities. When you’re helping others, you feel less alone and spend less time ruminating about the past and things beyond your control.
I ditched holiday traditions that didn’t bring me joy. I try not to buy physical gifts for my friends.
I have followed some traditions that have made me happy. A childhood friend bought me a Hallmark ornament as a present, but now I’m buying one for myself. I donate to charities and buy gifts for children in need.
They are also starting to create their own traditions, such as making their favorite cake and moving away from digital communication. Every day, I take time to appreciate the things I have and the people and pets that make my life magical.
I don’t force myself to do things that don’t make me feel good, and I don’t spend time with people I don’t feel comfortable with. Once I started doing this, the holidays started to feel less exhausting, exhausting and socially challenging, and more relaxing and peaceful.
When I feel down, I am reminded that all situations are temporary and the future could be very different. There may be other holiday seasons that you’d like to spend your time in. But now I need to love myself. It means doing what is best for you.
The best thing we can do this holiday season is be kind to ourselves and treat ourselves like a dear friend. This is the best holiday gift we can give ourselves.
About Jen Hinkala
Jen Hinkkala is a Canadian doctoral student, researcher, and arts education teacher.She seeks to understand what factors and experiences lead to higher levels of health, resilience, and self-care among arts educators and students. She specializes in well-being, time management, performance anxiety, alienation, overcoming abuse, career paths, and anxiety. Support groups for estranged adults and A group that supports personal growthFollow her here: twitter / blog.