Are you feeling like those winter blues are dragging on? Why are we (in Canada) still getting snow in April? I really do love snow, especially those big fat, slow falling snowflakes – BUT I AM READY FOR SUMMER. It is spring and it still feels like winter outside.
I know that for many of the students I work with, they are struggling to maintain positive mental health right now. I attribute a lot of it to the weather we are experiencing. People are just ready for a change. For the hope and joy that comes with a warm sunny day.Read More
The perfect card? Flowers? Chocolate? Jewelry? Expensive dinner? O MY!
I don’t know about you… but I often find myself getting exhausted by holidays which were created as symbols and celebrations of important moments in history that have instead been filled with commercialism, materialism, and expectations. We often forget the deeper meaning behind the holiday and lose sight of its beautiful reminders and significance. And sadly, usually just respond out of expectation.
Emotions are big! Emotions can be hard! And emotions can be scary! This is both true for many adults, youth, and children. Although this information is just as important for adults I am writing this post today for all those parents, professionals, or community members who work and interact with children on a regular basis. I write this blog series as a mom of a 3 year old (three-nager), one year old, and as a social worker in elementary schools. I will continue to write many more posts on children and emotions in the future as it is such a big topic and so so important.
***UPDATED – Now includes 30-day challenge below****
If you missed part 1 of this series you can find it HERE
January 1st, the first day of a new year. New beginnings a head. A chance for a fresh start. And the end of all the Christmas and New Year hype. Tomorrow life will return to ‘normal’ or ‘as usual’. As I mentioned in part 1 of this series that January is often a hard month for people. This is why we are going to participate in a 30-day gratitude challenge toward rediscovering happiness together.
January is a dark, blah month for most people. We are having a literal and metaphorical ‘sugar crash’. Our bodies are burnt out from the increase in sugar and carbs, the extra alcohol or eggnog, and exhausted from the many late nights, that December brings. At the same time we also experience an emotional low. We are either coming down from the hype and excitement of Christmas or January magnifies and intensifies our feelings of loneliness and grief. January also has some of the longest, coldest, and darkest days. This is exactly why I chose January to be the month of Rediscovering Happiness in order to encourage a month of mental health, wellness, and healing.
Christmas can be a beautiful time of year. A time we celebrate family, reflect on ourfaith, shower loved ones with gifts, and indulge in way too much food. I also know that Christmas can be a hard time of year for some. Christmas is emotional when you’ve lost someone you love whether that is through death, distance, or separation. Christmas is heavy when you experience poverty and you can’t live up to society’s expectations of gifts, food, and indulgence. Christmas is disappointing when you’re lonely or your family is full of conflict and unmet expectations. For me the joy of Christmas can also be lost in the hustle and bustle and ‘stuff’ that comes with Christmas holidays. Do you ever feel like the Christmas season is overwhelming? Like Christmas has lost depth and meaning?
Thankfully the themes written above aren’t the end of the story…. There is hope even when any or all of those negative things are present. The beautiful thing about the true meaning of Christmas is that it comes from within. JOY, HOPE, & LOVE are not based on our external worlds. They are a part of who we are as humanity and need to be nurtured and shared.
This Christmas season, I invite you to give yourself a very special, intangible gift – the gift of self-care, and Christmas cheer, bringing back meaning to the holidays.
It is only through taking care of ourselves – our true, inner selves that we can find those things such as joy, hope, and love this Christmas season.
As a special gift I am emailing my subscribers a 12 Days of Self-Care and Christmas Cheer advent calendar that I would love to invite you to participate with me in. I also invite you to follow us on Instagram @sarah_mentallyhealthyme so we can share in this journey together!
Subscribe to this blog before Dec 12, 2017 at 8pm and you will receive a free 12 days of Christmas self-careadvent calendar by email.
If you are experiencing any of the challenges listed in the first paragraph know that you are not alone and that there are many beautiful ways we can love through the pain! For example: redefine family: if you struggle with your family redefine what family looks like and have a nice Christmas potluck meal with all the people in your life you love. Poverty-ask for help. There are a number of churches and charities around the world this time of year who are willing to help make Christmas happen, just ask. Loss: if you’ve lost a loved one there are some beautiful ways you can remember them through Christmas traditions such as writing down your favourite Christmas memory of them, buying a Christmas ornament that acknowledges that person’s presence in your home at Christmas, making a donation in their honour etc.
Lastly, I am so excited about my January blog series – Rediscovering Happiness, which will involve a 30 day challenge. Subscribe to stay tuned!
**follow us on Instagram @sarah_mentallyhealthyme **