The second way to have a stress free and more peaceful holiday season is by connecting with friends and family.
Mental Health America found that 71 percent of people surveyed turned to friends or family in times of stress.
All month of September my guests and I talked about support systems and friendships as a mom. So if you’re wanting more of a deep dive into the topic of connection as a mom, go to episodes 58-62.
To connect this holiday season you can reach out to talk to a friend. Call them on the phone or meet up for coffee (with your holiday mask on of course).
This year has been a HARD year for connection.
Both making new connections and nurturing current ones.
Social distancing and quarantine have made it extra challenging. But I would argue that it’s almost MORE important this year to be intentional about connecting with friends and family this holiday season.
Connecting may look different this holiday season.
Sometimes just hearing a supportive and encouraging voice can help get rid of that stress and anxiety that you start to feel. Even a text that says “just thinking about you. How are you?” could mean a lot to someone. I know it does for me.
Connection can actually happen a lot of ways, it’s not always a super deep heart to heart in person. Sometimes it’s sending that Leslie Knope meme to let your friend know that you “get her”.
When you take that first step and reach out, however you feel comfortable, it can make a world of difference.
Research actually shows that social connection benefits you in several ways. Like Increased happiness. Better health, and a longer life. Loneliness was associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure in a recent study of older people.
So connection is important and can help keep your stress levels in check.
How do you create connections and what kind of connection is beneficial?
Mental Health America gives some great examples of what connection looks like.
Connection happens when you get…
concrete help, such as a friend picking holiday supplies that you forgot for you or someone dropping off some Lysol spray and hand soap at your door.
emotional support, like hearing someone say, “I’m really sorry you’re having such a tough time” or even just someone listening to you.
perspective, like a friend reminding you that there are seasons of parenthood if you’re having a tough day with toddler tantrums.
Advice on something needed, when asked for, of course, don’t be that person who goes around telling everyone what you think they should do (no, don’t do that).
validation, like learning that someone loves The Bachelorette or Oat milk chai lattes too.
Those are all ways to connect with other people.
And I do want to acknowledge that the holidays are more difficult for some people for other reasons. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one this year or you don’t have great memories associated with the holidays.
If you are really struggling with anxiety and depression over the holidays, please reach out to talk to a professional. There is no shame or weakness in asking for help when you need it. It’s really the opposite. It’s a sign of strength and courage to let someone else in to help you.
My friend Emily over at The Connected Mom Life has some amazing resources on how to connect and nurture current friendships.
I’m not an affiliate and I don’t get any commission for recommending her, I just love what she does and consider her a friend so if you want to dig in and get some wise, non-judgemental, and understanding guidance figuring out how to connect and nurture friendships – go to theconnectedmomlife.com.
Links & Resources
Where’s Your Village? Episode 58
How to Grow Your Village with Emily Siegel Episode 61
More about the Gotcha Mama Podcast:
The Gotcha Mama Podcast is where we share honest stories of the joys and struggles of mom-life with young kids.
Each week host Amanda Bennett interviews a mom about topics ranging from awkwardly making mom friends, to chasing BIG dreams and finding purpose, to managing crippling anxiety and depression. You’ll hear stories from moms like you with the purpose to inspire, encourage, and entertain you.
We understand that motherhood can be lonely and make you doubt yourself. The Gotcha Mama Podcast exists to let you know that you are not alone as a busy mom of young kiddos, no matter what you’re dealing with.
The show is all about tearing down our insecurities as moms by honestly sharing our stories and a little of what we’ve learned along the way.
We believe it’s a whole lot better riding the rollercoaster of motherhood together!
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