Stress is the trash of modern life. We all generate it, but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. This is especially true when it comes to holiday stress.
The holiday season seems to bring with it some unwelcome guests -- both depression and stress. There are so many demands placed on us during this time of year -- shopping, cleaning, parties and entertaining, just to name a few.
With a few practical tips, you can minimize holiday-related stress. Taking these to account, you might even find that you can end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought.
Tips to prevent stress during the holidays
When stress is at it's worse, you will find it difficult to stop and regroup. The best strategy is to to to get ahead of it and stop stress or depression in the first place. This is especially true if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in years past. Hopefully the following tips provided by the Mayo Clinic will help you.
- Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. 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. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
- Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
- Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
- Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
Try these alternatives:
- Donate to a charity in someone's name.
- Give homemade gifts.
- Start a family gift exchange.
Try these suggestions:
- Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
Some options may include:
- Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
- Listening to soothing music.
- Getting a massage.
- Reading a book.
At Motivations Counseling, we want to help you to resolve emotional issues of the past and the present. Together, we can open the door to you finding a brighter and more confident future.
Call us today for a free 10-minute consultation to see if our approach and experience are right for you.