Holiday season is here! While the holiday season can be a cheerful and joyous time, it can also be very stressful and demanding. Back-to-back holiday parties, social obligations, shopping, and entertaining guests can quickly become too much to handle. Alongside this, the feeling of loneliness and isolation are also very common around the holidays. With a few helpful tips and strategies, there are several ways to cope with stress and anxiety so you can enjoy this festive time of year.
Set Your Priorities – don’t be afraid to say no!
Select your favorite activities or social gatherings and skip the rest. Understand that it’s okay to say no. Attend the events that you know will bring you joy and have a positive impact on you. Say ‘no’ to obligations that you know will cause stress or anxiety. Think quality, not quantity!
Plan Ahead & Be Realistic
It’s no secret that finances are a big stressor around the holidays. Create a budget and be realistic on what you can afford. Remember, the sentiment behind a gift is more important than the cost. Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive either- baking a treat, writing a personalized holiday card, and spending quality time with loved ones are priceless!
Feelings of loneliness and isolation spike during the holiday season. Look for new ways to get involved in your community, such as volunteering, or even reaching out to people that you care about. Whether you’re saying hello to neighbors, or calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, reaching out to people and rekindling bonds can help you feel more connected.
Honor your Loved Ones
The holiday season can be a difficult time for those that have lost someone dear to them. Use this time to reflect on special memories of lost loved ones or reminisce with other family members and share stories. Consider doing something meaningful in their honor, like baking their favorite dessert or cooking their favorite holiday meal.
It may seem like we have a lot to accomplish on our to-do list around the holidays but taking shortcuts and simplifying these tasks can help ease stress (and time!) If you send holiday cards, try sending them only to people you speak with on a daily basis, or resort to going digital instead! If you are hosting, instead of cooking from scratch, buy prepared foods and don’t hesitate to ask others to bring a dish. Cutting corners and finding ways to simplify can save time and ease stress.
Breath & Take Time for Yourself
It may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes we really do forget to take a step back and breath. The whirlwind of the holiday season can be overwhelming, and we must remember to take care of ourselves. Set aside some time to do things that you enjoy. Whether it be treating yourself to a gift you’ve been wanting, or just getting some fresh air. Although, it may be too cold outside in some places, so putting on the sound of a cracking fireplace and cozying up on the couch is always a good alternative.
In the midst of a joyful and festive season, feelings of stress can rise to the surface. It’s important to listen to your what your body and mind are telling you. Plan your holiday season accordingly and remember to put yourself first. Give back to yourself in this season of giving.