Festive time is a celebrations of friends and family coming together, rejoicing, singing songs and filling the environment with love and laughter. Sounds absolutely perfect. Isn’t it? Except that sometimes this may not be the case! The real picture could just be families with unresolved issues who are to come together once again, children who are still dependent on you for most of the chores, financial stress for lack of funds, shortage of time due to work pressures, or simply a situation where you are either far away from your loved ones and going through the anxiety of loneliness. It’s all festive anxiety!
5 tips to deal with festive anxiety
1. Understand the real meaning of the festival and alter your mindset
India is a land rich in heritage and culture. Many festivals connect us to our spiritual side as well. Rather than focusing on larger things, try to focus on the true meaning of your festival. It’s often beautiful when you connect to the history, to the legend and to the mythology. Try to learn the real value that is attached to that festival. And pass on that knowledge to the newer generation.
Focus on the simplicity of it rather than the grandness and opulence. This is a perfect time to teach these values to the children of the family. Praying together, singing religious songs together, sharing a simple meal, and including parents in your celebrations can bring bigger joy than spreading yourself thin across the entire social circle. Once you have established the fact that real joy is in bringing your close-knit family together and you absolve yourself of huge social commitments, you will start to ease your mind. Your mindset is the first step towards enjoying your festivities rather than allowing yourself to be stressed by them.
2. If expenses are causing festive anxiety, be creative
This requires a bit of planning and a little extra time. Start now. Gifting is a big part of the festivities. If you are tight on funds, your gifts don’t have to be over the top. Think creatively. As long as your presents have a soul, they will be as beautiful as any expensive item. Focus on the joy of giving. And let that joy trickle through your presents. A beautiful plant with a heart-warming message written on an artistic piece of paper, a picture collage that symbolizes the happy times you spent together, and a beautifully decorated pooja thali that holds a symbol of prosperity will be received with as much love. Put your thought into it and create something meaningful rather than buying something meaningless from the market. As long as you start thinking a little in advance, you will be sorted. Similarly, it’s not important to indulge in expensive clothes. Use a little bit of creativity, mix and match and have fun with your wardrobe.
3. Plan in advance and be organised to avoid stress during festive time
Start creating your ‘to do’ list much before time. Try to be more organised (how to organize better). Don’t wait till the last minute. When you start penning down all the things that need to be organised, half your stress is over. List down the names of the people you need to visit, the guest list for having your loved ones over, the invites to be sent, the menu, the theme that you may like to have for the décor and the clothes to match your special events. Once it’s there on paper, ticking items off the list is actually therapeutic.
4. Eat well and exercise to overcome festive anxiety
Set realistic expectations of yourself and don’t forget your nutrition and exercise. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Set aside some time for yourself daily to relax your mind. Fill it with a power nap, music, meditation or a gentle walk, or anything that you really enjoy doing. Remember, it is only just a festival and the ultimate purpose is joy.
5. Be inclusive
Sometimes, we forget to ask for help. Delegate. You don’t have to do it alone. Give the responsibility of putting up lights to a family member and encourage the children to create rangoli or to set up the Christmas tree. Ask a friend to help you out. It’s not about perfection. It’s about creating an environment of being together, of warmth, love, and laughter. When work is divided, it not only lessens the burden on one person but also creates the joy of festivities among all family members. When everyone gets to be a part of it, it starts to shift the vibration towards more harmony and love.
Most importantly, enjoy the festive season!