coping with the holiday blues through craftingIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, maybe not for all of us. The mantle is dressed, the fireplace is blazing, and the highly anticipated holiday season is finally here. So why do you feel so blue?

It’s totally normal to feel lonely around the holidays, even when you have a house full of people you love. Apart from the demands and stress that seem to weigh heavier towards the end of the year, the holidays are also filled with expectations of your time, energy, patience, and flexibility.

Perhaps you’re stressed from overspending on this year’s gifts? Maybe reuniting with certain family members tests your patience? Or you could just be spent on energy after trying to work and simultaneously create the quintessential holiday experience for your family.

Whatever it may be, know that you’re not alone. One study by the American Psychological Association found that 38% of people surveyed said their stress levels increased during the holidays. Commercialism, family gatherings, gift-giving, and lack of time and money topped the list.

Here are a few easy tips that might help alleviate some of the holiday blues this year.

Gather Consciously

Work soirées, the kids’ after-school parties, community potlucks—this time of year, there are more than enough festivities, yet somehow, you might feel completely isolated while in a room full of people.

Instead of saying “yes” to every holiday shindig, preserve your energy and only agree to the events that you truly want to be part of.

Or better yet, host your own little gathering. With delicious snacks and some bubbly beverages, host a holiday-themed crafting night! It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a group full of felters, knitters, or painters. Everyone can bring their weapon of choice and feel a little less isolated in this season.

Embrace the Imperfections

Close your eyes and envision the perfect holiday season. Now, what did you see? Was it a sea of crispy wrapped gifts, a 7-foot tall tree, or the look on your family’s faces when they receive the one thing they’ve wanted for years?

Well, the truth is, none of us are probably going to have a perfect holiday, no matter how hard we try. And the more we expect perfection from ourselves and our family members, the more we’re going to be let down.

Learning how to overcome the need for constant perfection can start in your crafts. As you sit down to work on a needle felted snowman or bear, cut yourself a bit of slack when things don’t go according to plan! Matter, of fact, change the plan altogether and turn that “mistake” into a whole new project!

It’s these tiny lessons in going with the flow that will allow you to handle the big stuff when it doesn’t go exactly how you intended.

Enjoy the Little Things

The commercialization of the holidays can make it very easy for us to forget why we’re celebrating in the first place. And when you see commercial after commercial telling you that this holiday season has to be bigger and better than the last, it can feel overwhelming.

Take a stand for your happiness and vow to enjoy the small details this season. Better yet, create your own traditions! Maybe you want to start a new craft each week leading up to the New Year? Enjoy the peace as you sit down with a cup of tea, holiday music, and your newest project. Create your own joy and tune out the noise of what major retailers want you to believe brings happiness!

Want to start the new year with new techniques and maybe even some new friends? If you’re looking for craft ideas but don’t know where to start, or if you want to be part of a community where you can learn, grown, and share ideas, tips, and tricks, join our Needle Felting Academy! We’d love to have you.