De-Stress This Holiday Season
December 1, 2023
Stress and the holidays can tend to feel synonymous with one another as our schedules fill up with gatherings, deadlines, travel, and expenses. What should be a time of joy, may also bring feelings of anxiety and tension. The holiday season can create worry; however, it can also be an opportunity for internal focus and prioritizing your well-being.
This is a great time to reframe your thinking around the holidays. Keep the following tips in mind to lessen holiday stress and feel more optimistic about the season:
Take time for yourself.
Recharge your batteries first. We care so much about others sometimes we forget to give thought to our own needs. Try to remember others will benefit just as much if you take the time to relieve your own stress. Go for a long walk, get a massage, listen to your favorite music, or read a good book.
Find a local charity that needs volunteers and offer help. You can also participate in a community giving tree. Helping others may lift your mood and help you put your own struggles in perspective. Have realistic expectations. Nobody is perfect and no holiday celebration will be perfect. View any missteps as opportunities to strengthen your flexibility and resilience. Stay in the moment and enjoy each new memory you are creating.
Remember what is important.
If you notice wish lists starting to lead outside of your budget, remind others that the holidays are not about expensive gifts. Scale back and remind yourself that what matters most is loved ones, not store-bought presents, elaborate decorations, or gourmet food.
Encourage healthy conversations.
If you are worried about heated disagreements or negative conversations, focus on what you and your family have in common. Plan activities you can do together that encourages fun and laughter. Try playing a family game and/or outdoor activities like lawn darts, frisbee, and cornhole. Watch home videos or look through old photo albums and reminisce together.
It is so important to talk about your worries and concerns with close friends and family. Getting things out in the open will help you to feel less alone. You will find the support that you need and work toward a solution. If you need assistance finding long term mental health resources you can visit United Way’s 211 to speak with a live person who can help. If you or someone you know is in a mental health crisis and needs someone to speak with they can call, text, or chat 988. Trained counselors will listen, provide support, and connections to available resources.