The holiday season can bring mixed emotions for many. For some people, it’s their favorite time of year. For others, it brings feelings of sadness and loss. Seeing friends and family may be exciting or may bring up memories of disappointments.
Feeling depressed or anxious is not unusual during the holiday season. Upcoming dinners, parties, and other family or friend gatherings may cause a great deal of stress. These feelings may be even worse for those who have experienced divorce, lost a loved one, are living far from family and friends, etc.
1. Keep your regular routine: A change in routine can lead to additional stress.
2. Think moderation: While it may be easy to drink and eat too much at parties and special dinners, we should try not to overindulge with food and/or alcohol
3. Be realistic, and try not to expect the “ideal” holiday: So many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be like and are very disappointed when they don’t live up to those expectations.
4. Stay connected: Make sure to leave time to spend with friends and family who value you.
5. Throw guilt out the window: Try not to put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, to rejoice, or even to enjoy the holidays.
6. Don’t be alone, if you don’t want to be: If you anticipate spending the holidays alone, try to volunteer somewhere, like in a soup kitchen, with children in-group homes, or the elderly in various facilities.
7. Focus on today, not yesterday: There’s something about being with family and old friends that makes us become who we were and not who we are. When you find yourself reverting to old childhood patterns with family members, try to walk away for a minute and remember who you are now.
8. Just say no: It’s OK to say no when you’re asked to do more than you can.
9. Ask for help: Holidays are often a time people attempt to take on too much or do too much on their own.
10. Be good to yourself: If you’re feeling blue, pamper yourself. Do what feels good, and what you want to do.
Feeling stressed out or overwhelmed is not good for your health so make sure to take care of yourself. The holidays only come once a year and only last for a few weeks. If you follow these 10 tips, you might just find this year to be more joyful and less stressful and survive the holidays.
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