The holidays can oftentimes be difficult for many of us, with the season changing and possibly having to spend time with many different people, some of whom, we may not always be comfortable around. It is important, especially during these times, that we think intentionally about our health and self care. It is often easy to ignore or forget the strategies that we have set in place to care for ourselves in all the rush and movement that many people experience at this time of year. Even for those of us that try to limit the amount of activities we have to attend, the seasonal change along with the energy of the season can affect how we are feeling.
To help our communities enjoy the holidays, we have put together this list of 4 things you can do during difficult times to help you get through the holidays.
Take Breathers/ Breaks
Sometimes it can help to take a step away from difficult people or situations. For many people, it can be overwhelming being around many people. At times like that remember that it is ok to take a step away, breath and recenter yourself. A good idea is to try to build in break times into social gatherings where you are able to focus on how you are feeling and how to best care for yourself. It is ok if you feel comfortable doing so, to tell people that you just need some time to reenergize.
If possible keep in contact with support.
Often times many people travel during this time of year, sometimes separating, or bringing them back to their support structures. Whether it be through text, email, in person, or through social media keeping in contact with the people you have built up around you as friends, family or support can help you through difficult times. We can sometimes feel isolated even when we are surrounded by groups of people, and keeping in contact with people that make you feel wanted and comforted can go a long way to eliminating that feeling of isolation.
Be aware of what we are eating, and how that affects us
The holidays coming up are, for many people, feasting times. And while we can enjoy these times in community and sharing food with others (a tradition shared by many people all over the world to build strong and powerful communities) it is important to remember that food has a huge impact on our body, mind, and spirit. We should try to be aware of how certain foods change our moods. Many dishes during this time are hearty and heavy, making us feel sluggish and sleepy after eating. For some people this feeling can bring a sense of comfort and safety, for others it can leave us feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable. The same goes for the large amounts of processed sugars and sweeteners used in many dishes. For some people, they can experience a feeling of happiness and joy, but for others, those sweeteners can leave us with stomach pains, migraines, and other side effects. It is important that we keep in mind the ways different foods affect us and how we can still participate and enjoy our holidays without causing our bodies, minds, and spirits harm.
Practice intentional self care
Remember that self care is a year round process. It is ok to take time for yourself. Sometimes people meditate, breath, read, watch videos or movies, or just lay down and zone out. However you practice self care, it is important that you take the time to care for yourself, especially during stressful periods. Sometimes during the holiday season we can get so caught up in everything that we forget to care for ourselves. Below I’ve included links to past allgo blogs that I feel are good reads for this holiday season to help you on your self care journey.
Discusses the difference between the family you are born into or raised with and the family you choose to be a part of.
Shares a few thoughts on activities or strategies you can use in times of anger or outrage.
A list of 5 resources you can access online that can help you practice self care.
A list of self care practices you can do during times of distress, separated out by category.
The holidays can be a very complicated time for many of us, but by coming together and talking openly and honestly about our experiences, needs, and feelings, we can help support each other and make these holidays a time of community connection and power.
If you would like to continue this conversation, or if you would just like to join community to break bread together, join us at allgo on November 29th from 6:00pm-9:00pm for our Holiday Gathering: A Community Gathering for Food and Support. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about future events.