The holiday season is in full swing. It can be a time of celebration, but it’s also a time that creates lots of added work for many of us. Even if you don’t do much holiday shopping, there can be sending cards, arranging travel, getting ready for out-of-town guests, baking cookies, or shopping for special meals.
Those tasks really add up. For those of us who take on the responsibility of making the holidays special for others, it can lead to some extra stress. So how can those of us who tend to do too much maintain our wellness?
You might not be able to escape all your added responsibilities, but you can make your life a little easier. Saying “No” can be hard, but you can scale back your activities. Instead of decorating by yourself, turn it into a family event with festive music and treats. Instead of baking lots of different cookies, have a cookie exchange. There are plenty of ideas for simplifying your holidays on the internet!
One gift that you can give yourself this holiday season is to make sure that your WRAP works year-round. We can divide our year into seasons based on the sun and the weather, but for practical purposes, most of us probably only experience two or three seasons: holiday season, a separate vacation season (for some), and what’s left—the rest of the year. Chances are, you developed your WRAP at another time of year when you weren’t as busy. If so, do you have a whole different set of stressors or “triggers” and wellness tools that come out with the holiday decorations?
Another key to wellness during the holiday season is to make sure your additional responsibilities don’t take away all your “me” time. WRAP Plus suggests identifying activities that you enjoy but have gotten lost in the “busyness” of life and adding them to your wellness toolbox. These might be simple, like reading, or they might require you to dust off your old guitar and brush up on your music.
What are you doing to maintain your wellness? In a recent discussion on our Facebook page, one member of the WRAP community wrote that she was decluttering her home and that it felt great. What are some of your self-care strategies during the holidays? Let us know!
Alan Marzilli, J.D., M.A., is a senior writer/program associate at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). His work focuses primarily on homelessness, mental health and substance use disorder services, cannabis regulation, and employment services.