The Holiday Season is Drawing Near. Now is the Perfect Time to Consider Managing Holiday Stress.
For many people the holiday season is a happy and joyous occasion, enriched by reuniting with family and friends. But holiday’s can also be very stressful. No sooner than we have put away the Thanksgiving tableware and decorations, we begin the hunt for Christmas presents and wrapping.
The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.
Old patterns of behavior emerge, our stress levels rise, and our ability to cope flies out the window. People with problematic interpersonal relationships face a whole different set of challenges.
For others this year will look quite different than years gone by. Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic celebrating with friends and family might not be an option.
Please consider reviewing some of the tips below to help you better cope and manage this holiday season.
Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues
When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
Acknowledge your feelings. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. Consider journaling, speaking with someone you trust such as a trustworthy friend or clergy, or using art as a healthy alternative to processing your feelings.
Accept what you cannot change. Sometimes friends and family fail us. Try to accept them as they are and deal with grievances at a more appropriate time.
Change the things you can. The holidays don’t have to be picture perfect. Over time family dynamics change. Choose to create and implement new traditions and rituals.
Create a gratitude journal. Focusing on the good is a great way to shift our focus from the negative to the positive.
If you’re feeling lonely. Seek out support through community or religious events. Many support groups offer online options. Consider volunteering your time to help others in need.
Self-care. Now is the time to continue a self-care routine or implement one. Examples include physical exercise, mindfulness, listening to music, reading and journaling.
Stay on budget. Try not to overspend on holiday gifts. Remember spending quality time with family and friends is the best gift ever.
Beat the holiday rush. It’s important to plan your menus and shop ahead of time to prevent last minute scrambling.
Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional