A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info
This year, a lot of people are probably missing the usual holiday spirit. The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone's mental health, and spending Christmas alone can feel very anguishing. However, there are certain ways to help your mental health and get through the end of the year focused on wellbeing and self-care.
There are times when your mental health can feel outside of your control. The holiday season usually brings more stress than the usual, but that phenomenon is even greater this year due to the prevalent anxiety from the previous months, caused by the pandemic, last November's election, the economic recession, and the isolation. Even if it can seem especially challenging to have some power over your feelings and psychological health, you can achieve it with these tips.
Self-care is key when facing Christmas on your own. Remember that you're not being selfish by taking some time for yourself and making your own needs a priority. If you don't get good quality sleep, a healthy meal, and enough relaxation, you'll just add up to your current stress.
One aspect of putting yourself first is by creating your own celebrations. Ask yourself what you wanted to do this Christmas and give it a try! You'll possibly have to tweak some plans, but you can still try to achieve a positive approach to the holiday season. Instead of traveling elsewhere, switch up the food and cook or order some dish from another culture, for example. The key is to consciously think about what would make you happy and actively try to make it true.
You can keep your expectations down to Earth and still have a Christmas surrounded by others. The secret is technology! While being with friends and family in person is very different than video calling them, this can be the most realistic option for the majority of people. Reach out to others even if it's just for a few minutes per day; it'll help you feel less isolated and you'll remember that there are people who care about you even if you can't see them by your side.
Another good idea that involves technology is connecting with new people online. Social interest clubs and virtual book clubs are just some ways to get to know people with similar interests to yours and chat with them. This can help you fill-up the socializing gaps left by the pandemic!
That and other fun activities can help you shift your attention to what you're doing and away from factors out of your control. By engaging your creativity, imagination, and attention, you can find inner joy to brighten your days. However, it's necessary to come back to the present after these moments. The reality won't be as scary when you remember that these activities are within your reach and that there are still ways to have a good time by yourself.
It's very important for your mind to stay in the present instead of wandering to the past or future. Living in the present will prevent you from thinking longingly about the past year that's already out of reach, and it'll also help you be surprised by the positive things that happen on an everyday basis.
Lastly, try to find the right balance between toxic positivity and extreme negativity. They're both harmful, even if one's focused on ignoring the problematic reality and the other one's keeping a stubborn mentality that pays attention only to what you haven't done and what could be better. This is hard, challenging, and it takes resilience, but it’ll help you be present in your life while recognizing your feelings and needs.