How to Manage Mental Health at the Holidays
As the holidays approach, we start to think about things like planning parties and entertaining, making our vast lists of gifts and decor schemes and trying to dedicate more time to our homes and families, while still managing our day to day needs like groceries, chores and jobs. We want to do it all, but at what cost?
Many of us find this time of year overwhelming, but aren’t exactly sure how to start down a path of calm and anticipation, rather than dread and sleep loss. Simple things like asking for time to chill out, looking to others to spread out the work or saying no to the things we feel obligated to do may seem out of our grasp. How can astrology help?
Today we’re going to use the traits of the four elements of astrology to look at how, if we are more mindful about mental health during the holidays, we can better enjoy, manage and decompress after the celebration in a more stress-free and calm way.
Plan Time for Chilling Out
We have to work just as hard at keeping ourselves stress-free as we do in all the things that make us stressed in the first place! You work hard at your job, you drop everything for your family, you make time for shopping, wrapping presents, planning parties, baking, etc. Phew!
Are you scheduling time to unwind? It sounds crazy, and a lot of us simply wait until we have a break in between all of our meetings and events to settle down. Did you ever think to pop in an hour for chill out time to allow you to hit the reset button? We wait and wait and wait until we can have a break, but really, is that likely to happen?
Fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) want to do it all and you usually have the abundant energy to pull it off. Even you need a break though, lest your temper show itself. Don’t forget to exercise - even for 30 minutes. Physical activity tends to invigorate you, so burn off any frustration and come back refreshed. (It’ll help you sleep too.)
Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) like their creature comforts, but can get caught up in making sure they accomplish their goals to the point of discluding anything - even rest - that gets in the way. Don’t lose sight of your goal, but try to enjoy the path on the way there as well.
Air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) are the social butterflies of the gang, so chilling out for you may be best accomplished by balancing what seems like work with what’s going to hold the most interest or entertainment. Doing some of your tasks with your social circle will help you get things done and give you the connection you crave.
Receptive Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) have a hard time blocking out negativity - they are ruled by emotions, so the busier and more surrounded they get, the more stressed they become. Chill out time for you may come in the form of quiet pampering, such as massage or fitting in some spa time. Recharge and get back out there.
Ask for Help
Some of us struggle with putting our hands up to ask for help when we’ve over committed. Whether out of sheer pride or just wanting to do nice things for others to give them a break, there are easier ways to deal with not wanting to admit you’ve got too much on your plate.
Fire signs want it done their own way, but this could lead to some major stress if you try to fly solo. Use your powers of motivation to get everyone else excited about pitching in.
Self-sufficient Earth signs can be bad at sharing the load. It may be the control freak in you, but putting your trust in the skills of people in your life can ease your mind and strengthen your relationship.
Air signs generally want everyone to like them. Use that big brain of yours to concoct a sure fire way to put your hand up without making others feel they’re doing your work for you.
Water signs, in particular, can become quickly overwhelmed with ‘stuff.’ Use your intuition to determine who best to assist you without judging you for asking.
A big surprise to you may be how easily the folks around you will accept your request for help. Turns out they’ve been wondering how you always manage to get everything done, and they’d love a chance to lend a hand, even expressing a desire to learn from you. You may realize those around you constantly offer you help, but you consistently refuse.
If you can let go of your own expectations and remember everyone enjoys being included and pitching in where they can, life could be a lot easier for you.
You Can’t Do Everything
Sometimes, there’s simply too much going on in our lives and we’ll have to be selective if we hope to keep our sanity and get enough sleep! Don’t be afraid to turn people down if you feel like your calendar is packed too full.
Fire signs have no issues being direct, so turning someone down probably won’t phase you much. Just don’t slash your schedule so hard you leave people’s heads spinning and you have to do damage control when it all calms down.
Earth signs should use their considerable powers of organization and planning to make a master plan. You tend to lean toward tradition, so that may be the best place to start and see what fits in after you’ve covered those bases.
Air signs are idealists, so be very careful not to live in the fantasy that you can make it all happen! On the flip side though, if anyone can come up with an innovative way to manage it all, it’s you. Get creative but know when you have to let go.
Water signs struggle with saying no to the people they care about. Yes, you love to help, but you can do this without being a jerk or hurting someone’s feelings. Put your energy into what holds the greatest value and politely decline anything else.
Sometimes we just have to choose what is the most important to us, and being straightforward in turning down the things we don’t want to (or don’t have time to) attend is usually the best way to go. Save your energy for what you find to be the most important.
Overall, we often take on too much out of sheer excitement for this time of year. Sometimes we just need to admit we’re too worried about what others think and need to be more realistic and confident in deciding how and with whom we are going to best spend our holidays.
There are many more ways we can diminish our stress, using crystal therapy or meditation are two excellent ways to get started. Simply being more intentional about what we hope to accomplish can go a long way in keeping our sanity. Do not let guilt intrude - be kind, be giving, but be thoughtful about your choices and you’ll feel much more relaxed.
What are some of the ways you’ve found to minimize holiday stress? Comment and let us know!