10 Ways to Cope When It Doesn’t Feel like the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

At least, in year's past, that’s what song lyrics, our friends’ posts on social media, and advertisements for the perfect gift has told us. We have never experienced a year quite like 2020. Many memes and jokes laugh about how if anything unique, weird, bad or unusual happens - we can just 'chalk it up' to it being 2020.

We may not be surprised anymore - but many of us are tired, lonely, and emotionally and physically drained.

• Financial hardships can cause people to feel sad, angry, or ashamed if they can’t afford to buy gifts or participate in common holiday activities.

• Symptoms of clinical depression can intensify during the holidays due to stress and expectations that the season be joyful and merry.

• Grief can be particularly painful during the holidays as those who have lost friends or family feel an increased sense of sorrow that they are not able be with loved ones.

• Loneliness may be exacerbated for those who don’t have anyone to enjoy the season with.

• Continued fears of the Global Pandemic and Covid-19 can add another layer of stress, anxiety, and sorrow to an already hectic time.

Unfortunately, no amount of holiday magic can remove financial burdens, cure depression, bring back a loved one, or reverse the pandemic. But there are things you can do to better cope with grief and sorrow during the holidays. Here are ten tips for getting through the rest of the year:

1. Acknowledge that the holiday season may be difficult. 
The simple act of acceptance can bring a measure of peace and keep you from buying into the myth that everything has to be perfect at this time of year.

2. Prioritize, minimize, and cut back where you can. 
Make a list of the things that cause you the most stress during the holidays and decide just how important they are. This might mean you skip sending Christmas cards this year to save money or to save yourself from stress. If you’re mired in exhaustion, it could mean that you give yourself permission to take a nap instead of cleaning the house. If there is something you’ve simply never enjoyed about the holidays, don’t do it this year!

3. Don’t feel guilty about what you cut out!

4. Bundle up and go outdoors on sunny days. 
Combat the sadness that sometimes comes from shorter days and longer, darker nights by taking advantage of the sunshine whenever you can. A brisk walk on a sunny day is good for both the body and the mind.
Quarantine has kept many of us inside. It is so important to get some fresh air - even if it is just a short walk outside your home. 

5. Don’t isolate yourself. 
Let a few people you love and trust know how you’re feeling and ask for their help or companionship. If you’re depressed, this is especially important because withdrawing from others—while it may seem easier and more desirable—almost always intensifies depression. Socializing and sharing your feelings with others, on the other hand, often alleviates symptoms.

There are still many ways to stay safe and engage in some form of companionship. 

6. Practice self-care. Get enough rest. Exercise. 
Make sure to schedule time out of your day to do something you enjoy.

7. Serve. 
Serving others provides perspective and a sense of accomplishment. It also distracts you from feelings of sorrow and loneliness. 

8. Don’t compare. 
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Also, avoid comparing this year’s holiday happenings to those from the past. Comparison robs you of joy and prevents you from living in the present and finding peace with who you are. 
9. Stick to a budget. 
Even if you’re not in financial distress, sticking to a budget will help you feel less stressed and more like you’re in control. 

10. Get professional help. 
A licensed therapist can provide coping strategies and a listening ear.

Essential Oil Tips

Staying healthy during the holiday season is particularly important if you struggle with depression or are mourning a loss because being sick can prevent you from practicing the coping skills listed above.

Essential oils can help boost your immune system. Here are three blends to try:

1. This blend doubles as a wonderful holiday scent and a great way to clear upper respiratory congestion: diffuse 1 drop cassia, 4 drops douglas fir, and 4 drops wild orange.

2. On Guard, DoTerra’s protective blend, can be used in a variety of ways to boost the immune system. Diffuse a few drops to purify the air; take 2 to 3 drops in a veggie capsule twice a day to protect your immune system; fill a spray bottle with 12 ounces of water, add 10 drops On Guard, and spray to disinfect door knobs, counter tops, light switches, and other frequently touched germ magnets around the house.

3. This blend both purifies the air and fills the room with a spicy, warm holiday aroma: diffuse 1 drop cinnamon bark, 3 drops ginger, and 6 drops wild orange.

Happy Holidays,
Rebecca Hintze 

We could all use a little pampering and self-care. Try the '12 Days of Christmas' - 12 festive DIY recipes using dōTERRA essential oils. Everyone loves a fun Christmas Calendar!

Have fun staying home and make these gifts and deliver them to your loved ones to open for the '12 Days of Christmas', either one by one, or all in one Christmas Calendar box!