This time of year typically goes one of two ways, if not both ways in the same day - we are experiencing the most wonderful time of the year or we are having the most horrible experience imaginable. The holidays are no joke. So many of us are trying to get everything just right - decorations, presents, food, parties, and anything else we feel we have to deal with. However, we neglect to take care of the most important thing...our own health and sanity!!!
We don't want to admit to it, but the holidays are stressful. Get past all the pretty lights and wrapping paper and you have the perfect combination of fun, alcohol, and family to set someone over the edge. Don't believe me? Well, think about this - some of you barely survived Thanksgiving. How did I do it? My parents kept it simple. How were they able to keep Thanksgiving simple? Well, they decided to not invite anyone over and decided to keep it just the three of us. I was absolutely fine with that, especially since it had been a while since it was just the three of us together. Quite frankly, it was one of the best Thanksgivings I had ever had because it didn't include anyone outside of our household.
Family can be a pill. Let's just be honest about it. We love them every single day, but some days they can tear up our last nerves. It happens in every family and if you don't think drama is happening, let me give you a newsflash - more than likely, you are the cause of the drama.
My favorite part about the holiday season is seeing the family you haven't seen in a while. Ok, this one can actually go both ways - either that is a serious statement or you can note the sarcasm in it. You might not want to hang out with them and that is perfectly fine. I know I didn't feel like hanging out over Thanksgiving and I didn't. Honestly, I don't even feel bad about it. I don't have time to sit around and listen to the old family drama and play along with our real life version of the ABC hit series Secrets and Lies. Then, I'm also not really into the whole let's break bread together and then get back to secretly hating each other in real life and on social media after dinner. Truth be told, I would rather see a family fight break out than to have to pretend for a few hours. See, I told you family could be rough, but it is nothing like shopping.
Did any of you shop on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or on Cyber Monday? I did, but that's an entirely different blog post. This is what I do know - no matter when you decide to Christmas shop, it is an adventure. And then we have to figure out what gifts to give and who we are giving gifts to. Don't even front, you know good and well you re-gift!!! (But please don't give a person back a gift that was given to you). We all do the re-gifting thing! I admit I do it. I have allergies, so I don't get to keep anything that comes from Bath and Body Works, unless it is a candle or a scent for my car. Also, people change throughout the year. What they were interested in a few months ago could be the furthest thing from their mind right now. I'm all for giving and receiving gift cards. You can't go wrong with allowing a person to get exactly what they want, even if it is just a tank of gas.
It's just not the holiday season without some holiday parties!!! Please be nice to the host and do act like you have some sense while in their house or wherever you may be. Also, make sure you dress for the occasion. Don't be showing up to an event and not be decent enough to be seen in pictures. Seriously, get your life. The most important thing is to have fun. Please have fun! Eat, drink (please have a designated driver or funds for Uber), and be all types of merry. We have worked hard this year and we deserve it! For those of us still trying to maintain and or lose weight, stay on the grind, but do not punish yourself by feeling like you over ate or hurt yourself by going too hard during a workout. Believe me, you are more beautiful than you think you are and if no one else tells you, I JUST DID!!!
Although the holidays are supposed to be cheerful, for some people, that just doesn't happen. Depression is heavy all year long, but for some people, it is just downright unbearable this time of year. It's no secret that suicide rates go up during the holiday season. When you already feel like you are alone, the holiday just escalate that feeling. That's real and some people experience every single day. However, mental illness isn't the only cause of depression during the holiday season.
Some people experience a death during the holidays and that is a heavy load to carry. Some people are newly divorced and having to learn how to do the holidays as a single person again. Some people are just getting out of dating relationships and don't really have their footing yet. Top being alone and add being alone in a new city. Some people are experiencing their first holiday season away from home and don't have the leave time or money to go. Yes, feeling alone and being alone are two very different things, but if we are not careful, they can have the same result.
Here's my challenge to you - if you know of someone spending the holiday season alone and you are comfortable with it, invite them to spend time with you and your family. If you don't want to do that, take the time to have lunch or dinner with them when your schedule gets free. You will be shocked at how much your seemingly small gesture will go. At the end of the day, we all just want to be acknowledged and know that someone (even if it is for a brief moment) cares about us.
Remember at the beginning of this post when I said the holiday season can go two different ways? Well, I choose the positive route. Each day is not going to be pretty, but I choose to make the best out of the situation.
Note: All photos courtesy of Pexels.