Counselors say combat holiday sadness and stress with self-care
TRI-CITIES, Wash. —
The holiday blues affect us all in some way. Whether it's pressure to cook the perfect holiday meal, buy all the right gifts, or get along with relatives.
But Geralyn Retzel at Tri-Cities Community Health says we have more power over our bad thoughts than we think.
“The brain itself changes its cellular structure based on our thought patterns. So, if we can allow ourselves and I say allow because we have choice,” Retzel said.
She says the holidays are a time for self-reflection and healing.
“The best things we can do at Christmastime is ask ourselves what delights my heart what makes my heart happy,” Retzel said.
Retzel says distract yourself from the bad thoughts with self-care like reading a book, playing an instrument, taking a bath, or making a vision board.
“Perhaps cutting out pictures from a magazine that make you feel good and pasting them on a piece of paper or cardboard and then pinning that up on your refrigerator or someplace where you're going to be able to see that,” Retzel said.
If tough relationships are an issue she says address it head on.
“Perhaps we can make a new agreement with everybody. Can we have a truce today? Can we just not argue about this particular thing,” Retzel said.
She says screen time can often be a culprit in getting us down this time of year.
“Step away from the screen,” she said. “What we want to do is challenge ourselves to create improved relationships with each other.”
Retzel says if you focus on true happiness and not all the fluff... It won't be a blue Christmas.