A Deeper Dive Into Stress and Anxiety (During the Holidays and Beyond)
Within this Blog we have talked about working through negative thoughts and finding the joy in and enjoying (the holiday season and) life, which is needed and so good for our bodies and minds. One of the reasons I offered these tips is because, on the flip-side of that, there can be stress, loneliness, and anxiety over this time of the year (and beyond).
Let’s get real and talk about that. From looking at a year in review that is about to end and not feeling like you (or the year) lived up to what you wanted, to the anxiety that may stem from the thought of starting a new year and what may come with that. Or what about knowing, when that clock strikes midnight on Christmas day, there will be no “Santa” coming to your home with stockings filled or presents under the tree. Or you may not have a “home” for that to even be an option. Or maybe you are one who will be spending this season alone or after the loss of a loved one and that adds a whole new level of emotions. Then there are those who will be surrounded by a slew of people, but people who have brought hurt or pain. Or, even in what would seem like the “happiest” of times to someone on the outside – a house filled with joy, presents, people you love – you still feel so much sadness and stress on the inside. If we could look deeply into the hearts of those around each one of us, I would venture to say we would see at least one of these scenarios. Perhaps one of them is you.
Finding joy is one way to help counteract these feelings, but that may be “easier said than done” for so many. You are deeply struggling. So, then what? Well, for starters, it is important to identify where you really are emotionally. A REAL self-check-in. Pause, even though it may be hard, and give yourself a minute to figure it out. Or, for you, it may not take a minute. You know. You know that your heartrate started rising from the minute you began reading the second paragraph and hasn’t dropped since. Perhaps you have already planned out ways to “conceal” your emotions this season, turning to unhealthy decisions.
Either way, no matter what the circumstance, it is important to know:
- Acceptance is good (and helpful). Accept your emotions. If you are unhappy, acknowledge it and accept it. Accept who you are – not want your family or friends want you to be.
- You are not alone. If you feel you have no one else, you have me. I see you. I am here for you. You have someone.
- It is helpful for your people / person to know what (and that) you are feeling the way you are. One of my favorite quotes “we will never make it past our feelings if we don’t talk about them.” Here me out on this one. Even if it’s just letting someone (you trust) know you are struggling – with no other words. Talking doesn’t have to mean “deep conversations”. It would be helpful for any support system you have to at least be aware of these thoughts and emotions.
- Start small and let every step of this be a step – don’t overthink it, let it happen.
- You have made it through every bit of any hurt, pain, stress, anxiety, loneliness to date! Even in the hardest moments, you made it through. You are here today … for a reason, with a purpose. You know what that means? You are strong. You are brave.
- Your story is not done. You get to write the remaining part of your story – no matter the circumstances.
- You are loved. Even when you don’t feel like it – you are. You have an innate place on this Earth that is needed and loved.
- Your feelings are valid. Nothing is “wrong” with you. You are not a burden. You have no reason to be ashamed.
- What do you think may be a healthy way to help you feel better? Seek it. Tell someone. If you have a heart condition, would you most likely seek help to live your best life with it? Our minds also need taken care of, just as any other body part.
In addition to all of this, it is important to recognize things that tend to make stress and anxiety worse:
- Skipping meals
- Eating processed foods
- Drinking alcohol
- Not drinking enough water
- Checking media 24/7
- Not moving your body
- Not getting enough sleep
- Not getting fresh air
- Consuming too much sugar
There are a lot of ways to work through all of this, no matter where you are in this journey. I would love to work through some of these with you. If not me, please find someone, somewhere. You are worth it!
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enter your email to get “The Ultimate Guide to Mindfulness” on the main Blog Page of this site (www.livinghealthyin5fields.com). For more tips on mindful living and topics like this, follow me @livinghealthyin5fields on social media.