Photography: Erica Westley
Skirt: Tia’s Place
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It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful― whether you’re like me and working the busy retail season or simply dealing with seasonal depression. No matter how crazy the holiday season can get, it’s so important to pause and reflect on how beautiful the holiday season is. Between the hustle and bustle of gift searching and busy crowds, it’s easy to forget how my blessings the holidays can actually bring to light.
(Warning: I’m about to get Hallmark Christmas Movie level cheesy!)
For me, there was a moment where I felt very overwhelmed and consumed with the thought that this year wasn’t what I felt it should have been. But then I heard the song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. While listening, I really meditated on the last few lines: “In a year, we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow and have ourselves a merry little Christmas now.” A little film history fact: It was also sung by Judy Garland’s character in “Meet Me In St. Louis” to cheer up her daughter during a tough time.
It made me realize that even if we’re stressed, depressed, and discouraged, just realize that you’re gonna make it through and you should enjoy the holiday! Yes, the holidays are enjoying time with loved ones and observing the birth of Jesus, but it is also a time to enjoy the last bit of the year to move forward to a new, beautiful year!
With that being said, I’ve listed my favorite ways to positively use the holidays to unwind and enjoy ― regardless of the Christmas craziness!
RELAX WITH A FEEL-GOOD FILM
Take advantage of the fact that most stations are showing feel-good movies during the holidays. No, it doesn’t have to just be the cheesy, Hallmark Christmas films (which I’d say are the perfect feel-good options!), but just take a couple of hours for a break from a busy workday.
(*Bonus points if it’s spent with the family!)
(**Extra bonus points if you add a bag of my favorites ― Welcome to Popcorn Indiana Black and White Drizzle Corn!)
SOOTHING HOT BEVERAGES TO CALM DOWN
Again, take advantage of the season. Whether it’s a savory hot cocoa, a robust coffee, or a subtle herbal tea, cozying up with a hot beverage can calm the nerves as well as seasonal allergies. Just be sure not to overdo the caffeine intake (like I’m totally guilty of doing) because it then can become counterproductive to restless nerves.
Impact the lives of others who are less fortunate than yourself. It’s a tough world we live in, and for so many, their difficult situation deeply overshadows the joy of the holiday. So whether it be helping out at a soup kitchen, shelter, or hospital, giving the gift of love and support is far more valuable than any store-bought present.
RECONNECT SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVED ONES
After all, it is the holidays! Whether your family may or may not be around for whatever reason, there is always someone there. I’ve learned, especially living in New York City, it’s easy to feel lonely, but once you reach out and enjoy the presence of only the positive people in your life, that loneliness is at ease. From a co-worker to a friend whom you haven’t seen in years, go the extra mile in connecting ― which can feel a little annoying and forced if you’re an introvert like me! But you never know how much your reaching out can impact that person’s day. The holidays are the time to come together! So, be more inclusive, and surround yourself with positive loved ones to share this glorious time of the year!
Amber Lynette Lyons