Encouragement to Ease Holiday Overwhelm

Whether you feel uplifted and joyful during the holiday season or find your mood in the gutter (it’s not uncommon considering it can trigger loneliness,  anxiety, and depression), I hope you’ll be soothed and encouraged by these personal reflections.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Wooly pom pom wreaths made by me, a vintage pail, and my foraging finds from the yard.

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When the holidays threaten to steal your peace…

You may feel a sense of imbalance. Not everyone feels warm and fuzzy when stores fill up with Christmas decorations and the “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland” is pumping everywhere. Commercials beaming shiny happy families and the smiles of the season cause plenty of folks to feel blue.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. A simple rustic tablescape in the kitchen. Glassware: FIND IT HERE.

Why?

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Gold balls, pinecones, candlelight, and bells are ingredients for a laidback festive tablescape.

There may be a profound disconnect when your emotional state contrasts with a steady stream of messages suggesting you should feel cheerful. December can easily overwhelm and magnify feelings of loneliness, loss, financial hardship, and sad seasons from the past.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. My gold advent wreath on our harvest table.

Shorter grey days and lack of sunlight may increase despair. The season’s change can affect anxiety and sadness, and less sunlight may contribute to mixed emotions and despair during the holidays.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio

Ideas to Soothe Despair

While we are all unique creatures with varying sensitivities and circumstances, I offer these tips as someone with a counseling degree who is also in the trenches with you and prone to despair.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. No formulas here – just a gathering of simple, rustic elements that work together. Find rustic candlesticks RIGHT HERE.

Reach out to a friend. Sharing your feelings with someone else requires courage when you’re worried about feeling like a burden. However, it’s perfectly okay to not be okay.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. The old box held a croquet set and was found in our first home – a 1920’s bungalow. Gold Christmas ornaments: FIND THEM HERE.

Skip the pity party. Though it may be easy (and even strangely soothing) to allow bitterness to swell within you, choose to say ‘yes’ to an alternative. Say ‘no’ to withdrawing from others, and if you feel you have been left off a guest list, become the host!

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. We have had these plates forever, and the little compote is a made in Belgium find.

Ditch plastered smiles. Faking happy feelings may seem like a good idea, but ultimately, the masquerade is not helpful. Instead, allow yourself to feel the sadness while deciding that there are active ways you can transform the heartache.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. My collection of English crocks…FIND OPTIONS HERE

Add more sunshine and laughter. Strive to get more sunlight daily. If you can, shoot for 20 minutes. What makes you laugh? Go toward those things and be tickled.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. White ironstone works so well with fresh greeenery. Ironstone pitchers: FIND HERE.

Offer help. Get busy helping someone else, give your time and talents, and volunteer if possible…a focus on helping others is often a powerful antidepressant.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Our living room is spare and casually elegant.

Spend time with animals. They can heal us.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. A rustic chic mix of holiday cheer.

Be a holiday renegade. Remind yourself there is not just one way to carry out holiday traditions…create your own.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Do you bleach pinecones?

Keep moving. Yes, exercise and stay physically active. But also try to avoid unstructured time. Fill your calendar with activities you enjoy.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Our bedroom before we installed the Stikwood statement wall. Need a bench for your bedroom? FIND LOVELY OPTIONS HERE.

Nurture your soul. If you practice a faith tradition, take the time to read, pray, and go deeper on your spiritual journey. See a spiritual director, companion, or friend to help you recover your bearings.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Fading roses in an old crock.

Ideas When the Holidays Hold Religious Significance For You…

Since I celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, the following reflections relate to faith.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. My advent calendar from RH is filled with little gifts I made with matchboxes, an old sweater, and vintage buttons and ribbon. Advent calendars: FIND HERE.

Shift your focus to the spiritual meaning and depth within the holidays.

Keeping my heart attuned to the spiritual is the most meaningful path I know to experience authentic Christmas joy and wonder.

White wood Swedish electric candelabra.

White wooden Swedish electric candelabra: FIND HERE.

Swedish candles at window over farm sink with Christmas wreath and fairy lights - Hello Lovely Studio

Hello Lovely Studio. Candles in the windows.

For me personally, the story of the birth of Christ is richly laden with comfort and good news. When I consider the scene where a fresh new child is born and placed in a humble manger, I recognize myself in the scene.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. I love vintage mixing bowls and bakeware – this Amish butterprint pattern is one I grew up. Dutch oven: FIND HERE.

I see that the dark lowly stable of my own depravity is in fact a blessing, not a curse.

When I become still like that first Christmas night and surrender all I have–my mood, my disordered thoughts, and my worries–I become aware that underneath them, a deeply loved shining soul waits.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. We have had the old sled for years, and it is perfect anywhere I place it.

My spirit finds comfort when in the night sky of my heart, I freshly discover how the light of the world sees me during this holy season.

Oh, what comfort grows from this RADIANT GLANCE OF MERCY.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. A German made little sheep and one of my pom pom wreaths. German Putz sheep: FIND HERE.

When too many holiday trappings distract me from the radiance, I must seek the grace to experience it again.

Related image

For me, the Christmas story is an amazing story of transformation. Is it any wonder so many of us love a profound before and after story whether it’s an interior or a life restored?

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Dead pointe shoes from my collection. Diptyque Figuier candle: FIND HERE.

Unlike our DIY whole house renovation, the mechanics of interior transformation are mysterious. I only know a trustworthy energy appears to glow from a lighter realm and is lovingly holding everything together.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Vintage ski poles from Europe and a great peely paint ladder.

If I’m honest, most days the eyes of my heart are closed in sleep, and I cannot see in the manner in which  I am created to see.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. I wrap my wreaths in linen before adhering pom poms.

Yet each day holds promise for awakening! When I slow down and quiet mental chatter, I can consent to the Presence who is always there.

Purity of heart, peace, and new sight may become possible.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Another style of wooly wreath made by me and tied with a pink poplin bow.

I express this not in certainty, but in wonder:

a heart can become Bethlehem where something new may be born.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Tissue poufs and fairy lights in a vintage French basket.

You don’t need to live in a monastery or a bubble or complete silence to awaken to beauty. While being out in nature helps, there are practical ways you can cultivate a rhythm which will nurture your soul.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. In our French inspired courtyard.

No matter what your work day looks like,  you can begin to “work in stillness” and notice your breath. When I do housework and sweep the floors (you know how I love to sweep!), I become aware as I work in stillness that I am no longer simply sweeping.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. An old prayer chair, lantern, and mirror I stenciled to look etched.

I am preparing room in my heart for heaven and nature to sing.

The tears often come easily as my blessings wash over me, and the saltwater baptism feels like a precious gift.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. I love to leave a fresh wreath bare. White wooden Swedish electric candelabra: FIND HERE.

These reflections are shared from my tender heart

prone to sadness during the holidays,

prone to shame, and certainly prone to fall asleep.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. I have since covered the benches with matelasse for a softer look.

But even my sadness can become an offering.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Our entry.

I long to place it near the manger,

alongside Frankincense and Myrrh,

under the Christmas blessing of faith and truth.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Rustic Christmas decor.

It’s there I’ll meet

the radiant glance of mercy

shining like a Star in the East.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. A Christmas tablescape.

Awakened to beauty, I pray I may become a reflection of the radiance

and a source of healing light.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio. Fireclay Farm sinks: FIND HERE. Capri Blue candle in mercury glass: FIND HERE.

I pray that my heart will become a Bethlehem, where something new may be born.

Simple serene white Christmas decor and neutral Christmas inspiration from Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #simplechristmas #whitedecor #holidaydecor

Hello Lovely Studio

Sending hope, encouragement, and

Peace to you right where you are.

~michele

See these holiday posts if you missed them:

Plaid, Baby

Understated Holiday Decor

French Country Christmas

Linking with Thursday Favorite Things!

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Rustic French Country Cabinet
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Rustic French Farmhouse Table
French Country Sideboard
French Country Headboard
French Country Stencil With Bee
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Linen & Oak Settee
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
French Grey Side Table
French Blue Antiqued 4-Drawer Cabinet
Weathered 4-Door French Cabinet – 71″
French Linen Accent Chair
French Country Wing Chair
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Teak 3 Leg Stool
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Country Sofa
Pamela Arm Chair
Weathered Arm Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
Galvanized Console Table
French Farmhouse Dining Table
30″ Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Antiqued French Lamp
Light Grey Rattan Chair
French Country Altar Candlestick
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Linen Curved Loveseat
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
French Country Loveseat
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Oak Accent Stool
Rustic Ring 12-Light Chandelier
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Jute ARea Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Swedish Writing Desk
French Linen Sofa
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Parisian Glass Bottle Vase
Magnus Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Tufted Headboard
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Aged White Writing Desk
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Grainsack Stripe Armchair
Fireclay Farm Sink
Striped Dress Form
Elm rustic stool
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Grey Bistro Set
60″ Round Pedestal Dining Table
Scrubbed Look Wood Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
French Country Chandelier
Rustic Rectangle Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool

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17 Comments

  1. Joanna
    November 21, 2018 / 11:32 am

    I know some people find the Christmas season hard. Depression is a terrible thing and unless you have experienced it, you can not understand what they are going through. Try including that person in some fun things like grabbing a hot chocolate and walking the beach in the sunshine, on a small shopping excursion, meeting for lunch, listening….But, the person who is depressed has an obligation to try their best to not bring their friends and family down. It’s ok to talk about your feelings but not ALL the time. I say this not to hurt but to help. I tried my best to help out a neighbour. But no matter what I did for her, time spent with her, she remained so very, very negative. Finally, my husband said cut her off. She’s bringing you down!
    Your’s is the only blog I follow that touches on such topics. The rest are all beautiful pictures of perfect lives. Thank you for being you! Blessings ~ Joanna

    • michele
      Author
      November 21, 2018 / 5:37 pm

      So much grey area when it comes to depression, combative personalities, and what being a good friend constitutes, yes? Thank you for your honesty and support. No perfection here – I couldn’t handle that kind of pressure! Happy Thanksgiving, friend. xox

  2. November 21, 2018 / 11:38 am

    This was beautiful my friend! You share yourself and in doing so, you help so many. God has given you a gift and you eloquently give it to us. Blessings to you and Happy Thanksgiving ❤️

    • michele
      Author
      November 21, 2018 / 5:28 pm

      I feel the same way about how you share your exceptional artistic gifts, friend. The work has so much heart and soul in it, and collectors are so blessed to receive it! Happy Thanksgiving. xox

  3. Karen H.
    November 21, 2018 / 4:41 pm

    Beautiful reflections, thank you Michele. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • michele
      Author
      November 21, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving, Karen – I hope it is filled with hope and love. 🙂

  4. Laurie
    November 21, 2018 / 5:39 pm

    Love your quiet, peaceful Christmas decor, Michelle. (Yes, I bleach pine cones!) The older I get, the more I long for beauty in simplicity especially during this season. Love all your vintage touches! Do I see a pom-pom wreath tutorial from you in our future?

    • michele
      Author
      November 21, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      I need you to bleach a bunch of mine, please. 🙂 I hear you about simplicity. Re: pom pom pretty stuff…Ha! I am so terrible at tutorials! I definitely need to, and if my sister (a pom pom maker as well) would lend me a hand, maybe! But it’ll end up being comedy!

      • Joanna
        November 21, 2018 / 7:53 pm

        So much better! I love to start my day with a laugh.

  5. November 23, 2018 / 2:12 am

    Agree! holiday is so overwhelming day of the year. Glad I came to your blog. This is inspiring.

    • michele
      Author
      November 23, 2018 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks so much for finding me and the kind words! Peace to you this holiday.

  6. December 3, 2018 / 8:54 am

    Michele,
    Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things. I love your pom pom wreath. So glad I am not the only one that looses track of days. I too love breakfast casseroles. I especially loved your post. Sometimes we can get caught up in the merriment of Christmas and forget that not everyone feels the same way.
    I also love all of your decorations. They are so lovely.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • michele
      Author
      December 3, 2018 / 9:37 am

      So happy you stopped to visit and shared these kind words, Bev. I love partying with you creative bloggers at TFT and soaking up inspiration. xox

      • December 5, 2018 / 6:57 pm

        Michele,
        You are so sweet and we love seeing what you share. Please stop by TFT since you are being featured.

        Hugs,
        Bev

        • michele
          Author
          December 5, 2018 / 8:46 pm

          Woohoo! Thank you so much – can’t wait to see.xox

  7. December 6, 2018 / 9:16 am

    What a beautiful, peaceful post. I’ve featured it at Thursday Favorite Things today. Thanks for sharing!

    • michele
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:18 pm

      So honored to hear it, Pam. Thanks so much for spreading the love. xox

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