Tag Archives: xmas

10 Self Care Ideas For The Winter – Ruth

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Today, I thought I would share some self care ideas for the winter. It is very easy to forget about self care and looking after yourself during the colder season. You just want to stay in, watch TV and stay warm all the time. Yes, these are all forms of self care in itself. However, I hope this list will give you a few more ideas and motivation!

  1. Buy Something Soft And Warm

Buy yourself a nice warm and soft blanket, jacket, hat, pair of gloves, socks. Anything. You will feel so happy and cosy!

  1. Go Out For A Stroll (And Get Yourself A Hot Drink On The Way)

This is one of my favourite forms of self care. Although I understand you may be put off doing this whilst it’s cold. You don’t have to go too far. Just wrap up warm and treat yourself to a hot drink on the way!

  1. Make Yourself A Hot Chocolate With Marshmallows and Cream

I absolutely love hot chocolate so it had to be included on this list. Make sure you go all out, put in some big marshmallows, squirty cream and even chocolate sprinkles. Treat yourself once in a while and enjoy it by the fire.

  1. Do Some Baking

Spend some time baking and making some festive cupcakes, cookies or gingerbread men. There are lots of recipes online to follow. I always find baking and decorating the cake (to give it a festive theme) extremely relaxing.

  1. Make A Christmas Playlist, Listen And Relax

There are so many great tunes out there for the holiday season. You will not find it difficult to create a feel good playlist to put on in the background whenever you want to chill.

  1. Make Your Home Smell Nice And Festive

Invest in incense sticks or a candle with a festive scent. Put them all around the house and enjoy! I especially recommend a gingerbread smell.

  1. Stay Focused On Skincare

It is really important to look after your skin during the winter. Your skin can get really dried up in the temperature. Go out and invest in some lip balm and a good moisturiser. Korean skincare is definitely the best in my opinion. You will feel refreshed and amazing after using it.

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  1. Take A Warm Shower (Or Bubble Bath)

There is nothing nicer than taking a warm shower after a long day. Especially when it’s really cold in the middle of winter. The only downside is, you won’t want to get out!

  1. Stay Healthy

I know it is difficult to stay away from sugar and chocolate during the holiday season. It is the only time of year when you can get away with eating lots of it. However, you need to remember to still be healthy. Make sure you have your 5 day and you drink plenty of water.

  1. Start A Journal To Combat Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression is very real, and affects many people! I highly recommend starting a journal if you haven’t already. There is nothing worse than keeping all your thoughts and feelings bottled up. So, get all those thoughts and feelings out on paper every single day. You will feel so much better afterwards and like a heavy weight has been lifted from your mind.

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I hope you liked some of these self care methods and it gave you some good ideas. You need to remember to look after yourself during all times of the year. Always put some time aside every single day to practise a few of these methods. You won’t regret it.

Ruth (ColourfulHope) xoxo

Ruth is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity who has previously written about dealing with stress and the holidays from December 18th 2019. You can find her contact info there along with other ways to find her and follow on social media.

Be Present – Dawn Marie Beauchamp

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Be Present – It is the Greatest Gift this Holiday Season

The holiday season is full of glitz, glamor, and excitement. Around every corner are messages on how to make this holiday season bigger and better than the last. The drive to make things magical becomes exhausting and overwhelming. As a wife and mother of three, I look forward to the holidays and at the same time wait for the anxiety to take over and fill my waking moments with overwhelm and fear of disaster. Does this sound familiar? For the 2019 holiday season, let’s try a new approach. Instead of trying to be perfect this holiday season, let’s instead be present. How do we define present this holiday season?

Exchange “Perfection” for “Joy”

Do you search through Pinterest and walk down aisles at Home Depot in search of the perfect decorations? Do you once again land on Pinterest and your friendly Google search bar looking for the perfect holiday recipes? Perfection can be overwhelming. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Somewhere between perfection and disaster is real life.

Step back from the curated world of social media and decide what makes you happy. If, like me, you love to cook and searching out the perfect recipe gives you joy, then by all means do it. If the opposite is true and cooking gives you anxiety and feels like work, then find somewhere to cater your holiday meal or hand the meal planning over to another family member. Focus on what gives you joy this holiday season.

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Focus on People instead of Gifts

I love buying gifts. Spoiling my children is super simple. Walking through any store, I can fill my cart to the brim with toys, games, clothes, and gizmos that I know will bring my children joy. I noticed over the past several holiday seasons that my children start to become overwhelmed by all the gifts. The youngest ones especially are ready to play after opening one box and even become frustrated that I am stopping their play to open more gifts.

It is time for this momma to step back and focus on my sweet children instead of an overpowering list of must-have gifts. A friend of mine introduced me to the following formula:

Something they Want+Something they Need+ Something to Wear+Something to Read=Done Shopping

My goal for the 2019 holiday season is to stick to this formula and choose things that my children will love. The focus will be quality over quantity. Quality is more likely to spark joy and joy is our goal.

Be in the Moment More and Documenting Less

My cousin once told me, “If it is not posted on social media somewhere, it didn’t actually happen.” I believe it is easy to become so involved in sharing memories you are not truly making memories. Everything has its time and place and finding a balance is important. Step back from the camera for a minute and just be in the moment. See the smiles and hear the laughter through your own eyes and ears and not the screen of your cell phone.

By letting go of perfection, it is possible to find true joy. Taking time to seek out quality gifts over massive quantity will spark joy without chaos. Fully focusing on the moment with all of the senses instead of the curated lens of a camera will bring joy. Exchanging anxiety for joy allows one to be truly present in the moment. As the holiday season unfolds, your presence is a far greater gift to your family and friends than any gift, meal, or perfectly coordinated holiday display. Choose Joy, be Present, and Enjoy the holiday season with the ones you Love. Happy Holidays!

Blog PhotoAbout the Author: Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three residing in the great state of Michigan. She and her husband own a small electrical company, where Dawn runs the office and her husband is the electrical master mind. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and spends a lot of time enjoying the woods of Northern Michigan. Dawn also enjoys, cooking, writing, and all things DIY. She writes about her adventures at Controlled Chaos – Embrace the Adventure of the Everyday. (www.embracecontrolledchaos.com). You can also find Dawn on the following social platforms: Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Finding Peace This Holiday Season – Michelle Smith

Today’s guest blogger on The Unsanity is a new friend of mine who has personally helped with my stress and anxiety at the House of Care in rural central PA at the hospital we both work at. Michelle is a very wise individual, promoting balance and reminding everyone in her life to take care of YOU. You are number one, and you need to find your inner peace this holiday season.

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When I was a child, I did not understand why adults found the holiday season to be stressful. It was great. There were parties. There were family gatherings with presents. And the food was so yummy. There were trees to decorate, cookies to make, and maybe even some snow to play in. What in the world was stressful about these things?

Now that I am an adult and “life” has happened, I totally get it. When I was in my early twenties, my father died suddenly from a massive heart attack during the Christmas season. Each year, Christmas is a yearly reminder of my father’s physical absence. And, all those things that were so magical and enchanting as a child are now tasks to conquer on my list. Looking at that list can create stress and anxiety that can be difficult to manage.

Over the past decade of cultivating a yoga practice, I have come to realize that my practice is the doorway to finding peace during the holiday season and all year long. Yoga equips me with tools that help me find my true, higher, peaceful self. Yoga is so much more than a physical practice done in a studio. Yoga equips me with a set of tools that have a positive effect on my being.

Poses or the position we put are body in has an energetic effect. Through self-awareness, it is important to recognize when we are anxious and stressed. Responding appropriately during those first moments of realization is crucial to finding internal peace quickly. The longer we are stressed and anxious, the more time it may take to return to center and peace. Face-down positions have a grounding effect and are great for balancing anxiety and stress. You can simply turn your palms face down. If practiced over time, the subtle practice of turning your palms face down may yield large returns of internal peace. Or, you can lie on the floor or your bed face down for several moments and see if you feel a subtle grounding sensation.

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The breath is central to the yoga practice because it interfaces directly with the nervous system. There are simple breathing practices that we can employ to upregulate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for helping us rest and restore. We can be in a truly crazy environment and through some simple breathing practices stay relaxed. One easy thing you can do is lengthen your exhale. A basic practice for lengthening your exhale is to take a breath and count the length of your inhale and exhale. Then, for the next 5 breaths, keep your inhale the same count, but lengthen your exhale by 1 count each time. At the end of those 5 breaths, notice how you feel.  Do you feel more relaxed? You may need to repeat the practice several times to notice a positive effect.

Another wonderful tool for grounding and finding your higher self during the holidays is disciplining yourself to bring your concentration to one specific thing. This is mindfulness. Find something specific you want to bring your attention to during the holiday season. The more specific it is, the better. Maybe it is the sound of your breath? Or maybe you want it to be the sensation of air passing through the very tip of each nostril? Or maybe you want to visualize a color you associate with peace and visualize that color moving into your body as you inhale and out of your body as you exhale. Are you sitting in holiday traffic? Are you worrying about the weather forecast and how it will impact your travel plans? Or are you sitting in front of your bat-shit-crazy relative at Christmas dinner? Any of these mindfulness practices can be done inconspicuously to help you find your center, stay in control of the emotions and sensations arising, and know peace.

Knowing peace independent of what is going on around you and even inside of you is key to finding the magic and “child-like” wonder in this holiday season. Pick a tool that resonates with you and commit to practicing it. These are simple practices that can be done anywhere that, if practiced over time, will bring you the greatest gift of all: an internal fountain of joy and peace.

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About the Author: Michelle Smith is a program manager for Geisinger Health System, a rural health system in central Pennsylvania. She manages The House of Care, an outpatient home for adult cancer patients undergoing treatment, and the system’s Integrative Medicine program. Michelle uses the tools of yoga therapy, reiki, and vibrational sound therapy to help staff, patients, and family members know peace during very stressful circumstances. Additionally, Michelle teaches yoga at various studios in NE Pennsylvania. Michelle is the author of the book Always With Me: The Guide to Grieving Death through Integrative Medicine which is available on Amazon.

Blogmas – Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

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Hello everyone and welcome to one of the last Unsanity #Blogmas posts for the 2019 season! I didn’t have the patience or time to write one blog per day, so I opted for 10-12 over the course of the month to give myself time to get them uploaded and scheduled.

I hope you’ve been enjoying them like I have been while writing them for you. There’s alot of good stuff in here, and it’s going to be hard not to want to duplicate some next year (yes, I plan to do it again! We’ll see how the year goes leading up to December haha.)

This post is all about Stocking Stuffers for you last minute shoppers who need small gifts for your co-workers or family/friends. All of these are under $10 USD too no less! (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)

mad libs

Christmas Mad Libs to play with your family during the gathering.

sugar cookie

This caffeine free sugar cookie tea for the tea lovers to try during the cold winter months.

cherry bath bomb

Everybody loves surprises – give the gift of cherries and a surprise inside with this bath fizzer.

makers mark

Have a friend who loves Maker’s Mark? Get them this awesome sweater for their bottle you bought them for Christmas.

cake decorating

This Cake Decorating tip set from Baker’s Dozen should do the trick for the baking enthusiest in your friends group.

cremo

For the man in your life who shaves every day for work – this cream fights razor burn and nicks to keep him smooth.

salt scrub

Infused with Dead Sea Salts to give you younger smoother skin. Maybe stick with giving this to a friend vs a co-worker. They might get the wrong impression, lol.

unicorn slime

For the child on your list, or for a co-worker who needs something to occupy them on lunch.. this is the perfect fun gift to give!

How I Deal With Depression During The Holidays – Ruth

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“The most wonderful time of the year” is fast approaching. Although it doesn’t always feel that way. Especially when you struggle with depression. I know first hand how it feels to be in a really dark place around this time of year and it drains you. Having to deal with your mental health and the stresses of preparing for the festivities can get too much.

That is why I thought I would share a few techniques that I use to deal with this. Seeing all the happiness around during this time of year can be intimidating. However, these following techniques help to lift my spirits an awful lot.

Do Not Avoid Friends and Family

Around this time of year, you will start being invited to gatherings with friends, families or colleagues more and more. I know how difficult this is to agree too when you have depression but you need to try. Trust me, if you don’t show up to a gathering, you will only feel worse in the long run. You will feel guilty that you didn’t go especially during the holiday season. It is a time for friends and family. Spend time with them.

Let Them Support You

Do not hide your feelings just because “it’s meant to be a happy time of year”. Be completely open and honest about your depression with the people that you love. You will not be a burden and then they may be even more understanding when you don’t seem as happy as they feel like you should be.

Don’t Forget Self Care

During this hectic time of year, I know how difficult it can be to focus on looking after yourself. You are constantly thinking about others, and what perfect gift to get them for example. As a retail worker too, it is so hard to fit in self care when it is so busy!

Spend any days when you have absolutely no commitments, focusing on you. You need to find a healthy balance between not isolating yourself and finding the time to practise self care.

Personal Winter Self Care Methods

Whenever you get some free time, do something that you genuinely enjoy doing! Or even look up “Winter Self Care Tips” on Pinterest and try some out.  I thought I would mention a few of my favourite Winter Self Care methods:

  • Make yourself a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows.
  • Turn on the fire, read a book or watch a film.

Get Thoughtful Gifts

There is one thing that is guaranteed to make me happy over the holidays. Buying gifts for others. It’s more the reaction from them that makes me happy. This is why I always put a lot of thought and plan into my presents and what I get for each person. It is definitely worth it.

If your budget is tight, you don’t even have to spend money. You can make or draw them something if you are creative in some way. You can just leave them a heartfelt note inside a card. Do this for your support system. Let them know how much you appreciate them and make THEM feel happy.

Attend Events

There are so many events going on over the holiday season. This sense of community and togetherness can really heighten your mood. Attend a Carol Service, a Christmas Market etc. Anything specifically on over the holidays that attracts your attention since I know my suggestions may not be everybody’s cup of tea. But it’s not even about joining in. For me, it’s about being in an environment filled with happy people.

Take the opportunity to absorb all of the positive energy around you. Treat yourself to as much of it as possible! You will be so focused on that and having a great time that you won’t have time to be depressed.

A Final Word

Do you have any ways  to deal with depression over the holiday season? Feel free to message me on any of my social media. I’d love to get to know you!

Ruth-GuestAbout the author: Hello! My name is Ruth, I am 22 years old and I live in the “always sunny” United Kingdom. My main goal in life is to help as many people as possible with their mental health struggles and give hope for a happier future. My hobbies include; Blogging, listening to music, spending time with my lovely cat and so much more! You can find me on other parts of the internet here: Blog  Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram

Blogmas – Unique Gift Ideas for Anyone

BLOGMAS 2019

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With Christmas being less than 2 week away now, there’s still time to get unique gifts for everyone on your list from Amazon with two or one day delivery to most states. I’ve curated a list of a few, erm, strange yet useful gadgets and items that anyone on your list would appreciate this year. (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)

910aPPf8uXL._AC_SL1500_Of course we need to start off with this shower/bathroom/anywhere wine holder for while you’re getting ready or relaxing. Made for those wine-os who just need a place to store their glass so they don’t spill it and lose their precious wine. “Finally… a little “you” time. Pull out that silky robe. Crack open a great book. Light a few candles to set the mood for the pièce de ré·sis·tance: a truly luxurious soak.” I’m just going to come out and say it: everyone on your list can use this even if they don’t put wine in it.

 

81ZP5qBBb-L._AC_SL1500_Even if you don’t like nature (which, I don’t know why you wouldn’t) this bird feeder can entertain you and anyone else in your household for hours including pets. Are you a photographer? This is the perfect gift to get some wildlife/bird portraits you normally wouldn’t be able to get. And guess what! It includes the suction cups that they guarantee are weather resistant and will not slide down on the window. Enjoy seeing wild birds up-close like never before.

 

81+gDVjidxLNeed a solid yet funny and comical planner/to do list to keep yourself organized during the day… Look no further. There’s a lot to be said for sloth philosophy, and this notepad says it all. And honestly, I added this little guy to my cart as I was writing this because maybe it will help me get my sh*t together a little… after my little naps. Get your to-do list out of the way so you can focus on what’s really important: relaxing. Take it slow and have fun without worrying that you’ve forgotten some obligation. Maybe indulge in a nap full of slothlike, stress-free dreams.”

 

 

61iz-7+DEUL._AC_SL1000_Now, you might not be into camping, but if you love the outdoors and have 2 poles or trees in your back yard, this portable hammock is definitely for someone on your list. With that price of only $25 or under, and a complete 5-star review of over 2,000 people, something tells me you can’t go wrong with this. This is a double hammock, and can hold up to (get this) 1,000 pounds! Something tells me I’m going to be adding this to my wish list today…

 

 

8130lg1zKQL._AC_SL1500_Trying to drink that water your doctor keeps telling you to drink daily to stay hydrated? Do you hate the taste of plain water though? Check out this leak-proof water bottle infuser to add your favorite fruits to. It is 100% BPA Free, comes with a carrying handle and it’s easy to clean for when you need a refill. “Water is plain, water is boring, and water is tasteless – and since we live in a sea of flavor packed alternatives (usually swimming in sugar and potential dangerous chemical additives), it’s easy to see why we skip the healthy option altogether.”

 

61r1l3Mg+WL._AC_SL1001_Picture it: you come in to your office in the morning and it’s warm because they had the heat on all night. This little fan will give you just the right amount of comfort at your desk to help cool you off for a bit. Did I mention that it plugs into your computer or laptop in order to work? How cool is that? It’s got 3 speeds, it rotates to fit your needs and is available in a few colors.

 

81LTiTxKdUL._AC_SL1500_Give the gift of cold to that beer lover in your family or friends list. “The HOPSULATOR TRíO keeps your drinks 20x colder than a standard neoprene can-cooler, so that your last sip has the same refreshing kick as the first.” Don’t have a beer lover in the family – fear not. This can also be used to keep your coffee and tea warm wherever you are with the lid attachment.

 

 

910ZdSN33oL._AC_SL1500_This cutting board is the perfect gift for the chef in your life. My husband and I actually have a cut out of Pennsylvania and we LOVE it, even if it’s just for decor half of the time. Just selcet the drop down menu and pick your state or your friends state and ta-dah! This fun, whimsical laser-engraved artwork calls out all the wonderful sights and places in the state of your choice. I mean, of course I had to choose NJ to feature, because I will always be a #JerseyGirl. Did I mention that this is bamboo? Bamboo is much gentler on knives than most cutting boards and won’t ruin them when you cut on this.

 

Blogmas – Christmas Giveaway from Koral Dawn!

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Hello my Unsanity readers and friends. This year has had MANY ups down lefts and rights for myself and my loved ones. How did I cope? Through you guys and blogging mostly! Even if it was just networking and working with all of you to get your stories shared and published, you made it all happen. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and for attempting to keep me sane through the rough last half of this year. 2019 is definitely a year I won’t forget, that’s for sure. So let’s go out with a bang!

That being said, The Unsanity and Koral Dawn are doing it’s first ever giveaway for the holiday season!

***YOU MUST ENTER AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: CONTEST***

RULES & GUIDELINES:

  • The Unsanity contest starts December 12th and ends December 20th.
  • You MUST enter at the link above for your entries to count!
  • You must be following me on Twitter – this is a Twitter and blog post contest/giveaway.
  • Comment on this blog post with your favorite coping mechanism for your mental health – Yoga, Reading, Baking, a bath etc. I want to know what helps you!
  • This giveaway is open to the blogging community worldwide. 
  • Winner will receive the following: 1.) a Mindfulness Journal; 2.) Fineliner Pens for Journaling/Coloring; 3.) Let That Sh*t Go Activity Book.
  • Approx value of giveaway is $45, which includes shipping worldwide.
  • Winner will be announced and notified the morning after the contest has ended.
  • Return of items not accepted from winner.
  • Should winner chosen not be following, not have commented or tweeted the content, another winner will be selected at random.
  • Items will be sent out by Monday, December 23rd 2019.

Blogmas – Frugal Winter Date Night Ideas

MERRY BLOGMAS

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Winter is usually full of snow (depending where you live, if you’re in PA like us, it’s FULL of snow and staying in most times) and cold temperatures. With the holidays around the corner, and buying gifts for the family and others in your life, sometimes there’s less money in the budget for enjoying the things you and your significant other like to do to wind down.

Remember, not every thing needs to cost money to enjoy each other’s company, but you also want to be mindful that you need to keep your mental health in check during the stressful holiday season. Winding down with some cheap, easy and fun things to do with your S.O. when you can, will definitely help. What I’ve done is curated a list of 10 cheap and fun date ideas you can do during the cold winter nights.

  1. Play the board games you have! You can make it a fun competition with some sort of prize or where the loser needs to do the laundry for the week or clean the bathroom for a month.
  2. Go sledding. Sledding was the highlight of winter during our childhood, so hit the hills to go sledding again this winter. Sometimes all you need is a little rush to make you feel like a kid again or take away the stress for just a bit.
  3. Decorate your tree together. Either pick out a real tree or set up your fake tree together. Turn on the holiday music and get cozy as you prepare for Christmas the right way! Even putting up for decor outside can help decrease stress.
  4. Make/test cocktails for holiday parties. Google some recipes and put all those bottles that are sitting on your mini bar cart to good use. Test out the recipes and pick the best ones for the upcoming holiday party you’re hosting!
  5. Build a snowman. Get all bundled up and hit the yard to make a snowman or snow angels! Even if it’s only for a half an hour after work one day when you have a bit of time together, it will still bring back some nostalgia to your day.
  6. Go to trivia night. Test out your knowledge while drinking beer and cocktails. It’s a great way to have a competition with your partner and see who can come up as the winner of all!
  7. Make an indoor picnic. Some of you may like the cold and want to picnic outside, but if the temperature is -5 below zero, you may want to think of an alternative! Put a blanket in your living room or on your bed even and make some picnic food and enjoy an afternoon in!
  8. Cook food together. Cooking together can be fun, so long as you can agree on the meal. Once you pick a meal, grab a drink and enjoy each other’s time and learning a new recipe that will hopefully turn out great.
  9. Have a boozy snowball fight. Grab your flask or a bottle of wine to split and conjure up a snowball fight with forts and fight to the death (no, not really!) The more the merrier, see if any local friends want to come over and enjoy the snowball fight too.
  10. Go bowling. This one came to mind because my husband and I love bowling and we usually turn it into a friendly competition. Some alleys have drinks, apps and pizza that you can enjoy or even bowling packages for the winter months. Get out and have fun!

What If It’s Not A Happy Holiday? – Renata Leo

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The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means plenty of parties, family gatherings, holiday specials, and most importantly, pressure to feel happy and have a great time. When you suffer from depression and are constantly at war with your brain, it can be difficult to separate your emotions from how you believe that you’re “supposed” to feel. Every day is a struggle to understand how you really feel and to fight the impulse to force yourself into certain emotions. I can’t tell you how many vacations have been ruined for me because my brain was continually telling me that I should be happy even though I wasn’t, which made me even more miserable.  And there’s no time when societal pressure to feel a certain way is more present than the holidays.

Between all of the tv shows and movies with messages of love and good tidings, cheerful songs extolling all the virtues of humanity and family members talking about how wonderful it is when the family gets together, we are bombarded with the message that we’re supposed to be happy during the holidays. Gifts, love, and free vacation days, who can be upset with that?

The pressure comes from every direction! If you’re hosting a party, it needs to be perfect. If you’re attending a party, you need to be thrilled every minute. And due to this ever-present pressure, tensions at holiday parties can run high. With the hosts and party goers all feeling that everything needs to go perfectly, the smallest mishap can make tensions boil over. Family gatherings are constantly on the edge of contentious catastrophe. For an empathetic person, this atmosphere is really a minefield. Unable to escape this tense vibe, empaths can feel anxious and smothered by the forced merriment. All of this frivolity can be damaging for introverts as well. While interacting with so many new people and attending several parties can already drain an introvert, the added energy used by plastering on a fake smile and pretending to have a great time can be even more exhausting.

Then, there’s the pressure to take care of everyone else. The holidays are supposed to be a time when we think of everyone else instead of ourselves. Escaping from the festivities becomes a selfish and heartless move instead of necessary self-care. You don’t want to be a Grinch, right?  Self-care is an important part of everyday life, though, and it is especially important during the holidays when you are expected to attend to everyone else. You can’t take care of others if you’re too burnt out from neglecting yourself! Self-care is important, especially when dealing with depression, but when everyone around you is proclaiming that you need to be as selfless as possible, self-care seems selfish.

Make sure that you take care of yourself throughout the holidays, without worrying about everyone else. If you need to take a moment away from the festivities, confide in some people who would understand and make your exit. Don’t pressure yourself to feel a certain kind of way. This internal pressure only compounds on a heavy societal pressure to feel jolly and merry. Just let yourself feel. It’s okay if you’re not enjoying the festivities. It’s okay if you still feel sad and empty during the holidays. It’s okay.

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Author Bio: Renata is just an open-minded, overly-sensitive, optimistically cynical feminist millennial whose passions are people and words. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @renataoleo, or at her blog here.

Blogmas – DIY Gift Guide

IT’S BLOGMAS TIME!

Happy Blogmas everyone! It’s that time where we all get into the gift giving spirit, and go hunting for the perfect item for your loved ones. Personally, I love making gifts and DIY-ing alot of stuff. For my entire family last year (aunt uncles etc) I made them a simmering potpourri kit with directions using cinnamon, dehydrated fruits and spices. It was super easy to make and I found everything in bulk in my local Winco (out in WA – we don’t have one here in PA, so I’m going to have to find something different to do..)

I’ve spent some time researching and using my past experiences and DIY things I’ve made to curate this special list of easy DIY gifts for holidays that you can create. While I didn’t have time to create them all myself and take photos of them all like I wanted to, I have linked every single one I’ve used to give proper credit for creating wonderful tutorials to be shared. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Stove Top Potpourri I found this adorable set up of something I similarly did last year for my family, as mentioned above. While this tutorial is a bit simpler than what I used, that’s okay because it’s meaningful and easy to use for the receiver! (And can be used whenever you just miss that Christmas feeling.) Photos from post by Delia Creates.                                                                               stove-top-potpourri-69-of-711124
  2. Sweater Wine Totes  I came across this online because a few members in my family like to have wine at every party… including my mom and I haha. This tutorial is simple and easy to complete if you have left over or thrifted sweaters that are stretched out that you don’t wear anymore. The only thing you need to know how to do is sew! Photos from post.                                                                           DIY-Sweater-Sleeve-Gift-Bag-for-wine-at-thatswhatchesaid.net_thumb
  3. Christmas Tea Tree This is an awesome idea! Both my husband and I love tea and so does my best friend and mom, so I was thinking of maybe making one of these for them this year as well as little added piece for them to enjoy some holiday blends. This DIY tutorial shows just what you need to make these festive little trees. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above. christmas-tea-trees-14-1024x1024
  4. Homemade Soaps Do you know anyone who loves soaps and is always constantly buying new smells, textures and kinds? How about you make them some this year instead! It’s very easy to do and the thought of personal soaps will strike their fancy. In this tutorial, we see how to make a Grapefruit Lavender soap and a Coconut Mint soap for the soap and bath lover in your life.Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.                                                                                     grapefruit_lavendar_soap_DIY_a_house_in_the_hills
  5. Rose Hibiscus Whipped Body Butter Now this is something that I have also tried to do for family and friends for holidays and birthdays once or twice. It was a big hit (I tried different smells than this one though) and they always wanted more. This is a non-edible gift that will make someone feel like they need a pampering night or a home-spa day. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.                    021015_HB_PT_BodyButter-Step5

  6. Flavored Salts Do you have a food lover in your life? Someone that is always cooking no matter what? Here’s an easy tutorial from PopSugar that shows you how to make flavored salts to use in cooking! I’ve made some of these before myself, and let me tell you – it’s such a satisfying gift to give someone. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.6c0c478e6716d201_salts2EG.preview.jpg

  7. Compound Butters Another treat for the chef in the house or family, are these adorable recipes for simple compound butters. Instead of giving something sugary for Christmas this year, give them something they can use to cook their steaks or spread on bread to enjoy with dinner. This tutorial also comes with a free printable! Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.                                                 Sweet-and-Savory-Butter2
  8. Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub This is actually one of my FAVORITE things to make for the holidays! I made this two years ago for friends and they absolutely loved it. It’s great for softening up winter dry skin and it helps moisturize as you use it. It should last up to three months in a sealed jar, perfect for the length of the holidays for you to enjoy! Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.  candy-cane-sugar-scrub-theidearoom-10-1024x683
  9. Hot Chocolate Mix Ornaments This one is great for kids! I actually did this one about 3-4 years ago while working at a small company in PA and they were a huge hit, I actually ran out with people asking me for one. Best part is, you can add any type of powdered hot cocoa, sprinkles and marshmallows or peppermint bits for a great winter decoration and drink. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.  hot cocoa2