By Jill Bridge, Licensed School Counselor
Oh the holidays are here. You have been preparing for this momentous occasion for months. During the preparation period or even at this very moment you may have dealt with self-doubt. Can I get it all done? Will it be enough? Am I enough? There are times in life when we feel less than, less than our best or our perception of what we “should” be. This mantra in your mind may happen every year during this timeframe. Now throw the year 2020 in the mix with COVID-19 and BAM it is a whole new ball game.
If you are feeling all feelings or stuck on a few that don’t feel too great, there are things you can do to help yourself. Now, if you ever get stuck and don’t think there is a way out remember to reach out for help. In McLeod County there is a mental health crisis response service that is available 24 hours a day seven days a week. All you have to do is call 320-864-2713. If you start to wonder what can I do to help myself, one option is to talk to someone; a friend, a loved one etc. about your feelings.
Sometimes talking to yourself is a great strategy; you can also call it self-talk. The goal of talking to yourself is to help create a positive mindset. This isn’t a one and done idea for concurring everything, but building a positive mindset can help you feel happier, create better friendships and do better at school or your job. Our mindset is a set of beliefs we have about ourselves, others, the world around us and what we are able to do. They are built slowly over time but if you keep focusing on positive thoughts and remove the negative thoughts you will help create a more positive mindset. A positive mindset can help you work through problems and decisions you have to make each and every day.
Taking calming deep breaths is another great strategy. You breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take it nice and slow. Think of it as smelling a hot cup of cocoa. Slowly breathe in through your nose, smelling the wonderful chocolatey aroma (you can also use hot cider or another beverage if cocoa isn’t something you enjoy). Then breathe out through your mouth to help cool down your beverage. Remember if you breathe out too hard you will splatter the drink and that will not get us to a calm state of mind. You can pair your breathing with self-talk. Breathing in and saying to yourself, “I am ___.” Then breathing out and filling in the blank (smart, enough, brave, caring etc.).
Remember, you are enough. When self-doubt or a negative mindset tries to shadow over you look to the things large and small that you have accomplished. Make a list. List out the things you have done. Include vacuuming the house, buying groceries, even those day-to-day tasks that might not feel like much are an accomplishment. Don’t sell yourself short by believing you need to be like someone else. Your journey is unique and not like any other. It’s time to give yourself grace.
So during this holiday season, take time. Time to appreciate your accomplishments, revel in all the storms you have walked through and opportunities you have taken. They do not need to be earth shattering moments, but moments that make up who you are at this very moment. Moments that make you, you. Keep focusing on the positives and get rid of that negative mindset because you have and will continue to do amazing things. I hope this helps you find joy and peace this holiday season.