As we get to the end of the year, common expressions such as “I’m at the end of my rope” become all too familiar; with increased social obligations, the pressure of holiday preparations, and the close of another busy year, this period, while reflective and promising, often brings emotional and mental fatigue due to the culmination of a year’s worth of pressures, where we feel in a word, overwhelmed.
Festivities add to this fatigue as we use the last ounce of mental and physical energy to pull through the holidays. It may include exhaustion despite rest, irritability, lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy, and feeling overwhelmed by holiday preparations or social engagements.
The need to prioritize physical, mental and social, self-care during the holidays becomes paramount, so it’s essential to have strategies and mechanisms to help navigate challenges to well-being. At Globant we offer special training during this time of the year to navigate the anxiety of the closing of the year and the need to keep improving focus.
Checking up with yourself: Mindful awareness
One technique that can help us assess how we are doing is recognizing the current status of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Stress is often the detonator of how well we feel; that’s why managing and recognizing it is critical. If you are feeling extreme nervousness, pressure, or anxiety, actively seek calming methods that work for you. These could include resting, deep breathing exercises, saying no to activities you don’t feel like doing or being selective with your commitments, taking care of your eating habits, exercising, and listening to music.
Other strategies are having a structured approach to tasks with a well-organized mindset to avoid feeling overstressed. This approach to daily activities helps in maintaining focus and composure. Balancing this with creating a time for relaxation or doing activities that bring joy can be a good combination for feeling at ease. Setting realistic expectations is essential in understanding that it’s okay not to have a perfect holiday season; focusing on what’s most important to you and your loved ones is better.
A gift to yourself: Consider practicing gratitude
Cultivating gratitude is proven to bring many benefits; it can also shift your perspective and reduce stress. The power of gratitude is so strong that it can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, increase self-esteem, and improve satisfaction with daily life.
Being grateful for the holidays can also provide a good opportunity, as we focus on enjoying the present moment and share unique time with our loved ones or people we don’t usually see throughout the year. It also means sharing holiday traditions or new experiences with families, such as baking, decorating, gift-giving, or traveling.
Like those offered on Insight Timer, gratitude meditations provide many benefits, including improved mental health by reducing anxiety and depression, enhanced emotional regulation, and better sleep quality. These practices also increase happiness, stronger relationships, and heightened mindfulness. Additionally, they contribute to improved physical health, increased resilience against life’s challenges, better self-esteem, and a more optimistic life outlook.
If we want to embrace the Joy of the Season, we have to be honest with ourselves, and one way is acknowledging the importance of our well-being, needs, and wants. Also, remember that despite the season’s busyness, creating a space where you value and prioritize self-care is possible. This practice will ensure an easier transition into the new year, leading to a healthier version of yourself.