As we approach Christmas and New Year’s, we know that people begin to experience new stressors and struggles.  For some, it’s the pressure of hosting, buying gifts, making special memories, and managing calendars due to lots of holiday events and expectations.  For others, this is a lonelier time or even a time that reminds us of the brokenness in our families, among our friends, and even in our inability to accomplish our own expectations. While the holidays are fun and filled with good, they are also layered with unanticipated situations, stress, and disappointments.  We all wish we could push these things aside to focus on our spiritual experience of Christmas, but we are also having a human experience which is imperfect and broken.

So, TN Voices would like to offer some thoughts on flourishing this season.  Our best advice to you is to take care of yourself and prioritize your own mental wellbeing so you can flourish this Christmas. Flourishing is defined as “growing or developing in a healthy way, especially as a result of a favorable environment; to develop successfully; thriving.” The opposite of flourishing is languishing, which is defined as, “suffering from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation for a prolonged period; lose or lack vitality; failure to make progress or be successful.” Languishing for too long can lead to: foggy thinking, lack of motivation, low enthusiasm, feeling empty, not highly engaged in work or school, grief, loneliness, feeling joyless and without purpose, blah, moods that are not too high or too low, feeling unmotivated, feeling unsettled but not highly anxious.

How then can you move from languishing to flourishing? Create a self-care plan that includes these four domains: physical, mental, spiritual, and social.  Here are a few ideas of self care activities in each domain.


• Cultivate meaning through

small daily achievements

• Seek counseling

• Talk kindly to yourself

• Practice gratitude

• Decrease use of social media

• Name and discuss your feelings

with people in your support system

• If you work from home, refresh/redecorate

your space or try occasionally working in a

different location

• Attend a grief group

• Stay organized

• Practice relaxation

• Appeal to your senses

• Turn off the TV – limit intake of news & media

• Practice deep breathing

• Avoid social comparisons

• Identify and manage triggers

• Do something you are good at

• Take in the sunlight


• Volunteer to help others

• Connect to others

through video

• Regular face-to-face


• Make a list of your support system,

be intentional in reaching out to them

• Set a plan to increase your relationships

• Engage in things you used to enjoy

(concerts, festivals, dining, social gatherings)

• Join a social group that meets regularly


• Mindfulness practices

-Prayer and Meditation

– Breathing exercises

– Walks in nature (leisurely)

• Be active in your faith community

• Journal

• Study your faith

• Explore creativity

• Volunteer for community service

or engage with a non-profit

• Listen to inspiring and positive music

• Make time for inspiration daily

• Connect to your purpose, your

passions, and your interests

• Create a vision board

• Read/memorize meaningful



• Exercise regularly

• Move more

• Annual physicals

• Participate in community


• Learn a new physical skill(s)

• Regularly choose good nutrition

• Chiropractic care

• Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night

• Keep a sleep routine/schedule

• Limit or eliminate alcohol

• Avoid tobacco and vaping

• Routine dental care

TN Voices is here to help if you or a member of your family or friends need mental healthcare and cannot afford help, we have donors who have made help possible for you.  Visit  To give help, you can donate at

Rikki Harris, CEO, Tn Voices –

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