Kick Off the Holiday Season with World Kindness Week
While the holidays are full of excitement, festivities and joy, for some, they can also be a source of stress, depression and loneliness. As they stimulate the senses and bring up old memories, they can make you more susceptible to both happiness and vulnerability.
Some people can become vulnerable to being alone during this time of year as the feelings of loss, abandonment and loneliness can be heightened. Those who are dealing with depression or anxiety may also feel their emotions more strongly. That’s why World Kindness Week is the perfect start to the holiday season, and it’s the perfect reminder to be extra kind to everyone during this time.
Kindness Starts With You
The practice of self care is crucial, especially during the holiday season. Before you can start to care for others, you need to care for yourself. Start by giving yourself permission to say “yes” to the things you want to do and “no” to the things you don’t want to do. A huge part of self care is knowing your boundaries and setting them.
Acknowledge that the holidays may bring back memories that can pull on the heartstrings. Distinctive smells, sounds and songs can increase the sense of nostalgia and loss. Loss of the past, loss of a person or loss of a feeling can become heightened. Prepare yourself for these types of feelings.
Set aside time to nurture yourself. Practice yoga or meditate. Listen to what your body is telling you. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, cry if you need to and be happy when you feel happiness. Use aromatherapy to combat negative feelings (read more here). Cuddle up with a blanket or write out what you’re feeling in a notebook. Do whatever feels right for you to rejuvenate and recharge.
Plan Activities with People You Know
You never know what someone else is going through. Someone who appears to have it all together could be struggling internally. Use the holidays as an excuse to connect with people instead of being alone. Call up an old friend, a neighbor, a grandparent or a parent and spend time together. This can be extremely mutually beneficial.
Do an Act of Kindness
The beauty of kindness is that it not only benefits the receiver, but it also benefits the giver and anyone who witnessed the act (read more here). Doing an act of kindness can influence way more people than you even intend it to. Volunteer, leave a large tip for your waiter or hug your family members. For more ideas, visit Random Acts of Kindness.