6 reasons Celebrating the Holidays is Healthy.

Guess what Grinches? It is healthy to celebrate the holidays. Here is 6 reasons why you need to be ‘all in’ for the holidays this year.

  1. Mindful using senses.

The holidays are full of times that you can tap into your senses and let your mind be calm. The key to mindfulness has nothing to do with your mind, actually. It has to do with letting your body be calm and your mind will follow. Even for a few seconds take some time to smell the Christmas tree pine, taste the sweetness of frosting, view the dazel of the lights, listen to the joy of the music, and feel- really feel what it is like to embrace your loved ones.

  1. Comradery as the event is planned.

Everyone should be involved in the planning of an event. Even if the task is very small, it creates a team atmosphere where everyone is important to the end goal. The more comradery you create the more vested people are. This team feeling will continue after the holiday season and be a good support for all people involved.

  1. Intergenerational interaction.

This is a unique time to pass down knowledge. The next generation will take over at some point so it is important to bond and find common ground with people you might not otherwise hang out with. Getting to know your ancestors through storytelling can create a sense of self. It is a way of continuing life, even after we are no longer apart of it.

  1. Attention and Praise.

When everyone is together, we pay attention to each other Children are giving attention and praise from people they may not see on a regular basis. Builds self confidence and creates other supports for success.

  1. Emotional connections.

As we interact with our family, we start to understand the role that we play in it. The emotional connection that we start to feel makes us feel part of something bigger than ourselves. When this is done in a healthy manner, it can create a support system when you need assistance or when others need you. This helps us feel wanted, needed, and important.

  1. Gratitude and Remembrance.

Rituals create predictability and meaning in our lives. Even a simple memory can spur fond memories of warm sugar cookies or joking with your Uncle. As we implement these traditions in our families we can cherish and appreciate how the family has changed over the years.

Factors to Facilitate the ‘Holiday Feel’

-Everyone helps. Even very young children can set out forks or decorate cookies.

-Reduce distractions. This is where everyone starts to groan- I want you to put your phones away. If you are watching a movie altogether, that is fine. We are just trying to eliminate isolation from social interactions.

-Do the holidays your way. Every family is different- so do the holidays your way. This includes gifts, elf on the shelf, Santa, parties, combining religions, etc.

My Challenge to you: Enjoy your holiday. Do your family holiday the way that works for your family. I am so grateful for all of you! See you next year.

Happy celebrating friends!

– Jessie the Therapist

Photo by Aaron Burden

Jessie Shepherd is a Mental Health Counselor and owner of Blue Clover Therapy in Utah. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. Her focus is treating trauma, eating disorders and adjustment issues in adults, adolescents, children and their families. She utilizes Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Neurological Feedback.

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