Whoo hoo!! Tis the season, cool cats! Dust off your Johnny Mathis CDs, set your menorah or kinara in its special place, and start defrosting that turkey (or that vegan “turkey” roast).
I adore the holiday season. Believe it or not, I do love winter, with its crisp air, bright sun, and sparkly snow. Setting up my Christmas tree is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a tradition that’s very much rooted in my childhood. The tree still goes up AFTER my birthday (December 18) and it’s still always a real tree. Both traditions were started by my papa. I decorate that tree with vintage and gifted ornaments. As I unwrap each piece from its tissue paper nest, it feels like rediscovering old friends. And, while I’m decorating, I hang up stockings for Santa Paws to fill for my doggos.
I’m also thankful for the social festivities. Most of the time. Yes, even I, Queen of the Introverts. I appreciate the push the season gives me, to get out of the house and spend time with people I love.
You know it: there will be a lot to enjoy in the coming weeks. But I’m not immune to the stresses of the season either. Finding the perfect gifts; finding money for the perfect gifts. Missing my parents, who have both passed on, and navigating the new Christmas traditions that we’ve created in their absence. Acknowledging that there are some things I just do not have time for. (Hello farmer’s market! I’m here to “do” my holiday baking.) Setting limits to those social festivities that I profess to be thankful for. No, really, I am thankful for them. I’m also thankful when it’s time to go home so that I can recharge my introverted patootie.
Starting this year, I’ll be doing something else to recharge too: journaling. If you’ve read my past blogs, you’ll know that for a few years, I only kept a gratitude journal and an intentions journal (instead of a vision board). But then I started blogging for Sohospark. I discovered the Bullet Journal® (Bujo) concept and rediscovered the joy of keeping a writing journal. Both types of journals can be amazing tools for dealing with holiday stresses.
Journal Away Holiday Stress
Mari L. McCarthy has written several electronic workbooks and journal challenges that focus on therapeutic journaling. Her website has a terrific piece that looks at using a lined journal to help manage holiday stress. These are her tips:
Journaling, the Holidays, and Grief
Whether you lost a loved one recently or years ago, it can be difficult to navigate the holiday season without them. The first Christmas after my mom died, we created a bunch of new traditions so that her absence wouldn’t feel so stark. But even now, more than a decade later, she is still very much missed.
Journaling can help you deal with grief during the holidays. Mari L. McCarthy has helpful advice on this as well, this time over at Journal for You! Mari suggests:
Organize that Holiday Chaos - With a Bullet Journal
If your holiday stress is of the “too much to do, too little time” variety, a Bujo might be just what Rudolph ordered.
Bujos were developed as organizational tools to increase productivity. And, that’s exactly what we need when we’re struggling to wrap all the presents AND decorate all the cookies AND still find time to take all our doggos to the local pet store for photos with Santa. Amirite?
A Bujo can be used to track all kinds of holiday-related things. Kat at Zen of Planning suggests tracking:
Do you have any additional advice about using a journal to help with holiday stress? If so, I’d love to hear your tips. Drop me a comment below.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
It's a proven fact: Kindness makes you feel happy and feeling happy makes you kinder.
Tracking kindness is a terrific way to keep kindness on our radar and incorporate more of it into our lives. Just as a gratitude journal makes us more attuned to the things that we’re grateful for, a kindness journal or tracker makes us more aware of those moments of grace. And, especially if we have a goal of recording one (or more) acts of kindness daily, we’ll be more apt to take action.
No one knows for sure why journaling is an effective stress-buster. But there are several theories that make a lot of sense.