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’Tis the season for meeting expectations, decor envy and buying gifts that you may or may not be able to afford. Oh yes, and for those of us who believe, it’s also the time to celebrate God. But let’s face it, if this time of year was just about God, why would so many people be so stressed out during this time?

I learned a long time ago that with expectations and priorities in order, this time of year can be something to truly celebrate, even during this pandemic time. So here’s the list of what’s worked for me over these past holiday seasons:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE NEGATIVE FEELINGS
    This time of year can be triggering if say, you lost a loved one, went through a bad relationship break up, or maybe suffered a big financial loss. Whatever the case, it doesn’t pay to pretend. That is, don’t try to fake your way through this time. I’ve already seen posts from people who’ve recently lost loved ones, including losing them to COVID. So please know that your feeling are real and they are nothing to reject or feel ashamed of, just be honest with the people around you, and with yourself. You may find that empathetic ear that will share their own story, and make you feel like you’re not so alone in your negative feelings, whatever they may be.
  2. BE REALISTIC
    This 2020 year has been bonkers, and I’m finding it’s best for my mental health to just take it for what it is. Yes, I wish I could celebrate the same way I could in previous years, but that just isn’t realistic when it come to protecting everyone’s health. So let’s sit back and look at the big picture. This is temporary, and will pass in time for the holidays next year.
  3. STICK TO A BUDGET
    Yes, I said the ‘B’ word, and believe me, I don’t like it. I especially don’t like it during this time when I’ve lost my job. But now more than ever I have to do it. And according to this article from CNBC, holiday debt can take years to pay off. So unless you want to keep reliving 2020 into 2022, please stay on budget!
  4. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
    Just STOP! And take a few deep breaths. It’s too easy to feel overwhelmed with tasks and lists of things to do. Please take a moment to stop and breath deep. Really, that’s it!
  5. ADOPT HEALTHY EATING AND MOVEMENT
    Before you say, ‘Humbug!’ hear me out. There is a direct connection between physical and mental well being. So PLEASE, take a few extra steps, eat a vegetable and understand that you and only you can be responsible for your physical health. Not to mention a healthy diet can help boost your immune system, and who doesn’t need that!

So give these tips a try and see if they work for you. And above all, have a safe time with however you choose to celebrate this time of year. As for me, it’s all about New Year’s Eve and saying goodbye to 2020! 😀

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