As the holidays draw near, it is important to take care of yourself. The holidays can be a very stressful time. However, it is also a time of celebration! It is a time to spend time with yourself and loved ones. It is a time to eat good food and even better naps after everyone is finished at the table. Christmas lights are up and let’s not forget all the Christmas music that fills our ears. The menorah is all set up to be lit with each day that passes. Most importantly, it is a time to give thanks and remind ourselves to take a break. It is a crucial time to ask yourself what you need in the midst of whatever stressors that come along with the holidays, as well.

The holidays tend to be an expensive time of the year. It may feel like money is just flying out the door. You want to make sure that you get gifts for those in your life that are important without having to feel like your wallet is crying. Something that may help during this seasoning is reminding yourself that it’s not about the gifts. Sure, it is nice to give something to someone but most people understand that the holidays can be financially stressful. If you really would like to give something to a loved one, get crafty and make something homemade. There is nothing better than a homemade card with a nice note inside that lets someone know you are thinking about them. I can bet that the person receiving it will feel even more special!

Along with the financial stressors, for us introverts and others, being around a lot of family can be a stressful time. It can be difficult to engage with people and catch up, telling everyone what you have been up to since the last family gathering that most likely was 6 months ago. You might even have the grandma or aunt that asks you why you are still single or if there is anyone romantically in your life yet. You know, all the great questions we all love being asked! During these gatherings, remind yourself that it is okay to step out of the room and disengage. Whether you are hosting or making sure you are making conversation with every family member, you still deserve to take a moment to yourself and regroup. Maybe even ask the host if they need help with anyone. Not only is an act of service a mood booster, but you are also taking the time to take the stress off of someone else while having time to yourself. It is important to listen to your body and mind and recognize when it is time to have a moment with yourself away from the noise.

The holidays are a time to set boundaries with yourself and others so that you are taking care of your mental health. There is so much joy surrounding this time of year even with the different stressors that come along with it. Whether you are spending time with family or spending the holidays doing something for yourself, embrace it and make it a fond memory to look back on in the years to come. Take the time to listen to your favorite Christmas song, watch your favorite Christmas classic movie, light the next candle on the menorah, and eat all the turkey and mashed potatoes you can at Thanksgiving. Before we know it, it will be January and an entirely new year has begun. A fresh start, a new beginning filled with bucket lists and goals to accomplish by the time the next year rolls around. Enjoy the holidays and take care of yourself!