Welcome to my 2021 holiday survival guide! I had hoped that COVID-19 would be long gone in the rearview mirror and while it IS better, you may still be dealing with it depending on vaccination status, where you live, and your comfort level.
But chances are, things may be returning to a more normal holiday season. And with that, you may find yourself once again trying to be all things to all people. Allow me to give you some things to think about as you go into the next 6 weeks.
Here are my tips this year for keeping things safe, sane, and for getting what you want and need:
- First and most important, think about what YOU want and how YOU want to feel this holiday season. What will you gift YOURSELF with? It could be as simple as more silence and reflection OR perhaps something more exotic (like that piece of jewelry you’ve always wanted). You can create whatever experience you are craving!
- Listen to your body. If you are tired, rest. If you don’t feel like slapping on a fake smile for an event you really don’t want to attend, stay home in your jammies.
- Spend some time thinking about who you actually want to spend your time with. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to invitations from “energy vampires”.
- Keep your immune system supercharged. You can read more about that here.
- Make healthy choices. This may not be the time for a huge habit overhaul, but give some thought to keeping alcohol use and healthy food choices front and center. Exercise too. Doing so will help keep hormones in better balance and you’ll just feel better overall.
- Let the “supply chain” issues work in your favor. I highly recommend NOT spending your precious time and energy running around trying to find gifts that are in short supply. Gift cards and checks are always perfect, if not super-original! Or consider making charitable donations in honor of loved ones.
- Have conversations about anything COVID-related now. Family members may not agree on plans, so the sooner you talk about it, the sooner you can make YOUR plans.
- Check-in on your neighbors. Social isolation is still a big challenge, especially for the elderly. Spending the holidays alone may exacerbate depression that people around you may be experiencing. Reach out to say hello and let others know you are thinking about them. This is a mood-lifter on its own!
- Get all family members to pitch in. YOU are not the holiday elf with full responsibility for creating the magic.
- Cut yourself some slack. The holidays are stressful enough without adding in a big dose of perfectionism or guilt. Do the best you can, and above all…have FUN!
Depression, anxiety, and stress levels can soar during this season, thanks to extra demands, unrealistic expectations, or losses over the past 2 years. Seasonal factors, like less sunlight and changes in your diet and routine, can also play a role in your mental health.
This year, don’t worry about completing every single task on your to-do list. Take time for yourself to rest and relax. A little bit of self-care can go a long way.
Happy holidays from the Dr. Anna team! We wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at www.perimenopausebook.com.
Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at www.drannagarrett.com/lets-talk