The holiday season is here again, and along with it, stress. Family obligations, work, shopping, entertaining, cooking and baking, and more can lead to heightened levels of anxiety from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Add to this the increased cost of – well, everything, really – and the holidays can be really overwhelming. While you can’t remove ALL stress from your life, we would like to offer some strategies to help you get through the next several weeks.
Recognize that this time can be stressful. If you know things might be anxiety-provoking, you can plan ahead to make things easier. For example, if you know you have very little time to shop for holiday gifts, take a few minutes to create a shopping list. This will keep you on task, both financially (you’ll be less likely to overspend) and with time management. You don’t need to wander aimlessly for hours – whether in store or online.
Set realistic expectations. We are not all Martha Stewart, and not everything needs to be perfect. If your pie doesn’t look like the photo on the website or in the cookbook, it’s okay. Your guests will appreciate the great taste and your efforts. Enjoy the opportunity to spend time with friends and family, and don’t sweat the small stuff!
Take some time for yourself. Spend ten minutes in the morning to meditate, do breathing exercises, or some yoga/stretching to calm your mind and body. There will likely be many demands from work, guests, and family, so make sure you take care of yourself first. This will allow you to interact with others with a more positive mindset and more personal joy.
Learn to say no. You may be asked to take on more than you are willing to do, be it at work or at home. IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO! Be aware of your capacity during this busy season and only take on what you can handle. Saying yes when you really mean no can lead to resentment and greater stress for you.
Maintain healthy habits. If you have a workout routine, stick to it. Exercise releases endorphins, which are beneficial to your mood. Additionally, rich foods are bountiful during the holidays, so be conscious of your food choices to avoid feelings of guilt and anxiety. Everything in moderation!
Find support. It’s normal to feel alone or isolated at the holidays, and reaching out to friends or family or participating in community events can help. Talking about your feelings with someone you trust can help you feel supported and ease your anxiety. You can also do something nice for someone else: volunteer with a local charity, make dinner for an elderly neighbor, or donate food to a local food bank.
See a professional. If you still feel anxious and sad, see a professional therapist who understands the demands of life and life during the holidays. Sovegna’s professionals are licensed, certified & boarded, and have collectively dedicated thousands of hours in specialty training to best serve you. We have appointments available immediately, so call us now at (385) 429-9808 to make an appointment.
You won’t always be happy during the holiday season, but if you consciously take a few minutes for yourself every day, you can alleviate stress and face the season with a more positive mindset. Traditions and expectations will change from year-to-year, so take care of yourself, go with the flow, and find joy in the uniqueness of each holiday.