Editorial: Slow down from holiday rush to enjoy season

First, you have to be realistic and admit to yourself that you can’t do everything.

Does it seem to you that there are just too many things to do at this time of the year?

You’re not wrong. Everywhere you turn in the run-up to Christmas there is another festive celebration, craft fair, performance or tradition. The thing is, trying to jam too many of these things into your schedule can take the fun out of the whole season, if you’re not careful.

So what do you do? These are all great events and you’d like to attend them all. First, you have to be realistic and admit to yourself that you can’t do everything. And when you take a good long look at the pre-Christmas list, in your heart of hearts you likely know you don’t really want to do them all. At least some of them feel like obligations rather than celebrations, don’t they?

So pick a few of the things that you absolutely can’t miss and reluctantly let go of the rest. Your mental health will thank you for it, and you will probably find that when you do go to those special things your mind is right there with you, rather than racing ahead to the next thing coming up.

Island Health is also offering a few tips to get through the holidays without a big crash. They include such things as hand washing, getting a flu shot, and staying home if you’re sick, to keep yourself and those around you as physically healthy as possible during the season, but also pacing yourself with the holiday alcohol and cannabis consumption and scarfing down the rich food. They also tell us we should make sure to move, rather than just taking up permanent residence on the couch.

Also on the physical front, make sure your Christmas decorations are safe and don’t lead to a holiday conflagration.

They’re also reminding people who may need some mental or emotional support that there are crisis lines: call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-888-494-3888 or the KUU-US Crisis Line for Indigenous people at 1-800-588-8717.

Most of all, take a chance to breathe, look around, and enjoy the season. As the song says: “Slow down, you move too fast”.

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