9:32 PM

As soon as December hits, the Christmas spirit is definitely all over me. No matter how I feel or what is going on, I know this is a perfect time to vibe it out, soak all of the joy and merry spirits in, and just be in the moment. It's Sagittarius season and it's Christmas time, the few weeks to gather, reconnect, recharge, and just create beautiful memories. It's also the time to give back and reflect on the past year. Actually a wonderful month, mixed with highlights, inspiration, and motivation. But this is not how everybody sees and feels it. Christmas doesn't mean happiness everywhere around the world.

While one person is having the best time ever, being in all the spirits, drinking eggnog like it's water and throwing around with tinsel, another person is hiding inside, trying to ignore all kinds of Christmas music and movies, and just take it day by day, because the mental state is messing a lot. 

What we need to know or at least tell ourselves once in a while is that just because we are happy and feel good about something, doesn't mean that everyone else feels the same way. People are having their own issues, struggles, and feelings about things. The cause of an emotion always differs from person to person. 

The sad truth is that during an actual merry and joyful season, there are plenty of people out there who pray that this season passes as fast as possible. The winter blues hits or a trauma blocks the body from feeling good during this time of the year. SAD, a seasonal disorder may show up and all of a sudden one feels even colder than frosty. 

The holidays bring stress and depression along. This shouldn't be anything new. Maybe you have felt like this in the past, too, maybe you noticed it, maybe you didn't. It's important to get to know the two faces of Christmas and especially learning how to deal with the negative feelings during this season. 

I guess I don't need to write a post on how to enjoy the happy vibes during the Christmas season... you should know. But do you know how to deal with sadness during the holidays?

Well, a serious question: did you ever experience a sad holiday season? Or did you feel overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, anxious? It's all connected somehow. 

In December, we experience a lot and processing this is sometimes a bigger task than we can imagine. Just think about this: Christmas shopping, baking, cleaning, entertaining, cooking, the general duties, and family get-togethers. There's a lot waiting for us and a lot of this is also connected to stress and anxiety. 

And this year, there's one bigger stress factor that adds to the list. The global pandemic which is currently breaking records again internationally. Another lockdown, stricter rules, more loneliness, and mental health issues. 

This year, the holidays will be different, if we want to or not, we might experience this season in a way we have never experienced it before and we might get to know symptoms from our bodies, which never appeared under regular stress. Your holiday plans look different... it's just normal to act a bit off and feel overwhelmed because everything is basically different this year. 

Take a deep breath. 

Don't be scared of this year's Christmas season. Just be aware. 

Today I want to reach out to everyone who likes to know how to deal with stress, sadness, anxieties, and depression during the holidays. Is Covid stressing you out? Making you feel nervous? You are simply exhausted? Especially now during a time where you'd usually jump around and just float on cloud 9. I get that. I feel the same. 

I have often struggled with a little SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during the colder months and I have also experienced Christmas days which I spent crying in my bedroom while watching happy Disney movies which couldn't make me smile. I forced myself often to be happy, just because. Today I know that the holidays don't have one plan only to be celebrated and to be lived by. Our emotions and feelings decide a lot. Our environment and our lifestyles play also a huge part on our bodies' chemistry and how we feel. This Christmas can be the best ever and the next your worse... there's no rule and no fix plan. 

This year, I feel good, I feel happy. I am strictly taking care of my mental health and I have finally created borders and rules which make my daily life so much easier. During the holidays I won't take a break from that, so I will take it day by day and just work on myself. And again, this year is special. I won't be too harsh on myself.... and while writing this, I am taking a deep breath. I am a little anxious. It's day 2 of our second lockdown here and my body feels a bit tense. I feel weird about this lockdown, I am sad that I couldn't enjoy the Christmas decoration in the city, since I was working a lot and staying at home finishing projects. I miss the Christmas markets and I am confused that so many people live through this December with a very angry attitude... as an empath I can feel it all. I soak in emotions, vibes, energies (you name it) like a sponge. 

And here I am sitting now, thinking about what was happening the last two weeks, but also feeling happy about what's to come. I try to dismiss fear and anxiety and just let Christmas warm up my heart. I am practicing mental health exercises for a long time now... coping with my stress and emotions and learning about my behavior. But sometimes it's also good for myself to write posts like today which remember me to do the right steps during this month to make sure I am not doing perfectly, but I will be intune with myself. Balanced, zen af, and also happy with my rollercoasters. No regrets, no anger, no frustration - just taking more deep breaths. 

So let's get to the point. What can we do this season when feeling sad? 

1. Acknowledge your feelings. Feel it. Feel through it. That's how you understand what's wrong with you or why you react a certain way. Don't swallow the bad emotions and pretend to be merry. No matter if you are grieving or you feel alone - it's okay to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.

2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or social events. Many may have websites, online support groups, and social media sites. Face time your family members, or if you feel too shy to talk, write cards and letters to connect closer. A simple call, even if it's just five minutes, can do a lot with your mood, believe me! 

3. Volunteering. Take some time to help others is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. For example, consider dropping off a meal and dessert at a friend's home during the holidays or help out in your community. A little social contact and a lot of good work will push your self-esteem and it'll make your heart warmer. 

4. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. With Covid being around, it's time to create new rituals and get used to a new kind of holiday celebration: meet virtually on a video call. Even though your holiday plans may look different this year, you can find ways to celebrate and connect. 

6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, connecting with friends and other activities. Consider whether you can shop online for any of your items. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. Make sure to not add something last minute on your list. Last minute always means stress and we don't want any stress. 

7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. The same should br happening inside your family. Many people want to please family members, since the blood relation puts a lot of pressure on our shoulders, and simple questions which are asked at every big family celebrations create extra tensions and anxiety. Learn to speak up and set up boundaries which make you stay in your comfort zone without unnecessary stress and imbalance. 

You are the boss. You control how this season will be celebrated. If you feel sad, overwhelmed or exhausted, then feel it. Be kind to yourself and don't be mad or increase your negative feelings with anger of your emotions. This is simple body communication and your body is processing a lot right now. Your body is always in need of the right input to function right, so to prevent heavy sadness during winter time and the holidays, make sure to stick to a healthier nutrition, cut down your sugar cravings, move a lot, hydrate, and get plenty of sleep. A healthy functioning body is the best weapon to beat your mental health blues. 

Take some deep breaths, add extra breaks, take it slow, don't be too harsh on yourself, and move with your own pace. You spend the holidays however you like it - you have to feel good, no one else. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, because your holidays looks different or feel different. 

Please. Pace is so important. Take it day by day. And do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Make lists and prioritize the important activities. Live and enjoy the present. Be optimistic and don't compare this year to the past years... this year is a new year with new memories and rituals. Furthermore, a new way of connection, maybe reconnecting, bonding, or even fining moments of alonetime happen, which is important, too. Spend some wonderful hours with yourself - inside or outside. Connect with Mother Nature and surround yourself with things that make your spirit shine bright. 

Share responsibilities with your family and learn how to speak up. Communication is very important this month. Be willing to tell others how you feel and also start journaling your thoughts and moods. Before telling others how you feel, be real to yourself.

How about starting today? 

How do you feel?

Do you need anything? Are you okay?

What can you do to feel better?

When being anxious, no matter the time of the year, I am working with my anxiety emergency list which includes some breathing exercises, motivational words for me + from me, and some feel good songs which make me smile for a second. 

This sounds easy when reading these words, right? 

I know the real life experience always looks different. We grieve, we cry, we are angry, we are sad, we are empty - there are many emotions. Know that these won't stay forever. This day will pass and tomorrow you can work on your mindset, thoughts, and motivations. 

Create new rituals and traditions now. 

Don't forget to take deep breaths and if you need some extra advice on feelings and emotions, then I'd like to invite you to get to know my latest creative project "You Are What You Feel". A book on mental health and art therapy. It's a great workbook for everybody, short and tall, young and old, to get to know your moods and work through them to live a more colorful life! 

Share this with anyone who could use this!
Sending you hugs.