While the normal trappings of Christmas are all around me, I’m having a hard time getting into that Christmas spirit this year. It hit me most when Thanksgiving rolled around and I knew that I wouldn’t be spending time with my family and that big feast! The ‘why bother’ came at me fast and furious. Why bother putting up the tree? Why bother getting out decorations? Why bother thinking about presents? Why bother? Sound familiar?
Let’s be honest: 2020 has been filled with financial challenges, travel restrictions, health concerns, a 24-hr news cycle that felt more like 6 hours, work-from-home adjustments, politics at its worst, grief, sorrow, uncertainty and much more. With all that has been thrown at us in a relatively short period of time, we’re all feeling more raw, emotional, and exposed than in ‘normal’ holiday seasons. This makes Christmas 2020 the perfect time for a holiday season reset (which I know I need!).
I’d like to share some ideas for a Christmas 2020 reset.
Eliminate Expectations – We’ve been living the unexpected these past 10 months, so don’t think that Christmas 2020 should be any different! Rather than have expectations of your best Christmas memories, let go and live the holidays In. The. Moment.
Make it Festive – Decorate your home, even if no one is coming over. Rather than my usual ‘theme’ Christmas tree, I dug out all our ‘old’ Christmas decorations this year and relived some most precious memories of Christmas’ past.
Give Strangers a “Secret Gift” – When you are out on an errand, pick out a stranger in your immediate surroundings. Now that this stranger is on your mind, take a few seconds to wish this person good health and good fortune. Seriously, this one might be worth keeping in mind all year!
Skip the Holidays Altogether – If this year is too much to handle, don’t feel obligated to go through the motions because everyone else is. You’re not running away from your problems if you choose to spend the holidays in an entirely different way that what you’ve done in the past or what you feel is expected.
Eat Cookies and Celery – Cold weather and holidays make us want to load up on comfort foods, but healthy eating is important for both emotional and mental health. Balance the cookies, pies, and eggnog with winter vegetables and lots of water.
Take a Coloring Break – Nowadays, coloring isn't just for children. Not only do adults find the activity fun, but research has shown that it helps to alleviate anxiety—and the more intricate the coloring book pattern, the better the stress-reducing benefits.
Limit Social Media – We have been beyond overwhelmed with information, nonsense and news in our country this year. While social media is awesome for staying in touch with family and friends, spending too much time can get you to start comparing yourself and your celebrations to those of others.
If these ideas and others you are aware of still don’t quite hit that reset button, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. There’s no shame in seeking the help of a professional if you feel like your negative emotions are too overwhelming for this ‘most wonderful time of the year’.