"Staying Sane Through the Holidays" by Shobana Nuland, LMHC

The holidays can often be filled with such a mixture of excitement and stress.  From the enthusiasm of attending holiday parties, being with family and friends and buying presents to the exhaustion of being with family and friends, attending holiday parties and buying presents.  Yes, the overwhelming demands of celebrating the holidays can often outweigh what is actually intended to be a time of love, joy and connection.

This year, instead of getting caught in the expectations of needing everything to be “perfect”, take the opportunity to take care of yourself.  If you are kind and loving with yourself, you will ultimately have more love to share with others.  

Consider these ways to help make this holiday a real celebration:

Don’t commit to more than you actually want to do.  If there’s a party that just feels like 1 too many, then it is! Graciously decline the invitation and most likely your host will understand.  If not, it simply validates your choice not to attend.

If you’re hosting a party, ask for help.  You really don’t have to do it all yourself.  Make it a potluck.  Ask someone to bring some games.  Have someone else pick up the dessert that you’ve ordered.

Too many presents to buy? Create a different tradition this year.  Put the family names in a hat, have each person choose one name and only buy a gift for that person.  The group can decide an appropriate price range.

Simplify the decorations.  Every year does not have to be more elaborate than the last.  Take the decorations you already have and arrange them differently.  Sometime less is more and simplicity can be the most elegant.  Bring in some garden greens to add a natural flair.  Candles always add a festive mood.

Most importantly, make sure to balance your time and energy.  Get a massage.  Light a candle and take a calming bath.  Use some lavender aroma therapy for relaxation.  Breathe.  Simply sit down, close your eyes and take 3 slow, deep breaths.  Open your eyes and wait at least 30 seconds before you continue activity.  Doing this simple breathing exercise several times throughout the day will help you maintain a sense of calm. 

Remember, you get to decide the ways in which you want to spend this holiday season.  Make the choices that will leave you feeling balanced, joyful and loving.  This season, give the gift of love to yourself! 

 For more information or to make an appointment, call Shobana Nuland, LMHC   206-546-5390

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