Take Control of Your Holiday!
It’s the time of year for friends, family and sometimes stress! Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.
With some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would!
Tips to help with Holiday Stress:
- Don’t abandon healthy habits. Before the holidays started you were eating healthy, exercising, getting adjusted, and getting plenty of sleep! Make sure you stick to it during this time. It’s easy to overindulge in holiday cookies and stay up late knowing you don’t have work in the morning, however, those things can start to wear away at your health and create stress. When the holidays are over it can be even more stressful to get back to a healthy routine.
- Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, connecting with family and other activities. This can prevent last minute scrambling which can be stressful.
- Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
- Acknowledge your feelings. If you are feeling overwhelmed It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
- Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events or communities. Many may have websites, online support groups, social media sites or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship. If you’re feeling stress during the holidays, it also may help to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Try reaching out with a text, a call or a video chat. Volunteering your time or doing something to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. For example, consider dropping off a meal and dessert at a friend’s home during the holidays.
- Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Find an activity you enjoy. Take a break by yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. Some options may include: taking a pet for a walk, reading a book, and meditating.
Implementing these tips during the holiday and year round can help combat times of stress and depression. This year has looked a little bit different but there is still plenty of room for joy, love and light!