If there is anyone more stressed out during the holidays it is us – mujeres.
The holidays bring on the happy, but also the saddies for people who have emotional triggers around this time of year, family dynamics, negative associations and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Our mothers, tias, abuelitas and yes, us tend to reach high stress out levels during this time of year as well. Our gender is tied to making meals for our families. So many of us conditioned to help others – the marianismo syndrome still out there and in effect! We are so giving, but are we to ourselves? Time to realign with our self-care needs especially this time of the year.
Use This Checklist –
Build A Healthy Relationship With Food. The societal and peer pressure from family and friends to eat those holiday special foods. It’s tough to say ‘no’ and give into temptation. We say go for it, but check the ’emotional eating’. Look for signs of hunger or whether it’s a negative feeling, stress that’s calling for that extra helping onto your plate. Be mindful of drug and alcohol too – stress can trigger us to overindulge and again, family and peer pressure. Another thing, consider our Latinx/people of color’s community’s historic colonized relationship with food as well – perhaps putting more ancestral, healthier options on the dinner table will make you stop and appreciate.
Connect With Your Breathing. Try this breathing exercise Fire Breath. Listen to the ebbs and flows of your breath. When social anxiety kicks in – lean on breathing exercises to give you a sense of control.
Have A Self-Care Sis. If you had a bad interaction with a family member or an individual and you need someone to talk to. Sometimes you can’t avoid family or friends at a gathering. Give your sis a heads up that you might be running into so-and-so and if she/he can make themselves available via phone call or text, just-in-case. Of course, if something needs an elevated approach – you can text a crisis line.
Make Room For A Good Healthy Cry. Missing someone? Dealing with grief? It is natural and you should allow yourself to grieve. Make an alter shine, celebrate their life. Make their favorite dessert and serve it up to friends and family to remember them by. You can feel joy and sadness at the same time – allow for it.
Above all remember…
The Holiday Stress & You A Mess Will Pass. Maintaining perspective is everything. It’s okay to seek security, to have fun and not be perfect in handling every situation – know that next year comes around – you will do better or perhaps make a decision that changes the course of ever interacting or taking action in a situation that puts you at stress. Sometimes, you have to do you.
Want to dive into your self-care as a Latina more? We recommend - Self-Care For Latinas for year round self-care with more than 100 exercises to radically put yourself first!
Be Gentle, Kind and Love Yourself.