Dealing With Holiday Stress
Dealing With Holiday Stress levels. “Tis the season to be jolly”—but isn’t that always easier said than done?
While the holidays of course bring us many joys—family reunions, good food, thoughtful gifts—they also entail an incredible amount of stress. Below we have some helpful tips and tricks to get you through the stressful side of the holidays.
Take a break, regain your focus. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything on your To Do list, remember to take a few breaths. Take a break and enjoy a cup of tea or a hot bath. Try some yoga or exercise. Or get out of the doing mode for a little while and let yourself just relax. It can be challenging to disengage from the clutch of activity and connect with the moment in a restful way. But research suggests that it’s worth the effort to slow down and regain your focus
Keep up healthy habits
Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example, decide that you’ll move more and do something active every day over the next three weeks. Take it a step further, and pledge to start the day with a healthy breakfast, limit the sweets and get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are over.
Know You’re Not Alone
First, take stock of the reality of the situation at hand and know that you are not alone. The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have left all of us, regardless of age, feeling fearful, anxious, depressed, and stressed. In fact, almost 1 in 5 adults have reported being in a worse state of mental health than at this time last year.
Start a new tradition
As families change and grow, traditions may change. If you can’t be with your adult children or other relatives, meet on a video call and find new ways to celebrate together.
Take a break from TV and social media
Holiday movies and social media can set unrealistic expectations for how this time of year should feel. We end up being disappointed when reality doesn’t meet our expectations. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, and take a break.
Know your spending limit
Lack of money is one of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. This year, set a budget, and don’t spend more than you’ve planned. It’s okay to tell your child that a certain toy costs too much. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll spend the rest of the year trying to pay off.
Take breaks from group activities
Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Spend a little time by yourself if you can. Meditate, or do some relaxation breathing. Go for a short walk.
Holidays can sometimes trigger depression. They can be especially hard if you are already dealing with the death of a loved one or the breakup of a relationship. You may feel embarrassed to ask for help, or you may think that you’ll get over “the blues” on your own. But most people need treatment to get better. Talk with your doctor about counseling and medicine for depression.
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