10 ways to handle holiday stress
There are many wonderful things that come with the holidays – time with friends and family, lots of tasty treats, a break from work to binge-watch the latest Netflix show. But this time of year, can also bring its own set of stresses and pressures that if you don’t plan for or take care of can leave you feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
To help make this season a true season of joy, we have a few suggestions for you to take care of yourself over the holidays and make sure your mental and physical health are well taken care of:
Make a plan
This busy time of year is filled with social events, shopping, and family time on top of all your other daily obligations. If you’re not careful, over-committing yourself can burn you out. Use a calendar, to-do list, organizational apps or whatever works for you to plan your time and organize your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
For some people, the holidays can be extra lonely. If you feel isolated, try participating in events offered around your community. Volunteering is another great way to make connections with new people, lift your spirits and give back.
Be conscious of your financial limits
Especially with the current state of the economy it is important to not over-spend this holiday season. Decide on a budget that feels comfortable to you and try to stick to it. If you are feeling pressured to buy presents for several people, suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange or homemade gifts instead.
Shift your perspective
If finances limit your spending this holiday season, remember that you don’t need to give material gifts to show love to the people in your life. Your authentic presence is more important than a monetary expression of your feelings.
Honour and accept your emotions
If you are feeling overwhelmed or upset, take a moment to acknowledge and express your emotions and tell yourself it is okay. These emotions, although uncomfortable at times, are normal. If you have recently lost someone or cannot be with your loved ones with this holiday, know that it is alright to feel sadness or grief.
Take time for yourself
During the holidays, we are often so focused on the needs and wants of others we forget about our own. It’s important to give yourself a break during the holidays and make time to do something you enjoy every day.
It is important to acknowledge that this holiday season may not be like the previous year. As families grow and change, traditions may change as well, but be open to accepting new traditions. If you cannot be with your loved ones face-to-face, consider sharing stories and pictures through email or video.
Keep in contact with family and friends. Social support is vital to managing stress. Sometimes chatting with a friend or loved one can take your mind off stress and allow you to relax and remind yourself it will be okay.
It’s often difficult to say no to the tasty food and drinks during the holidays but try to choose the items you can’t live without and enjoy them in moderation.
Maintain healthy habits
Keep up with a healthy exercise routine, get plenty of sleep (eight hours per night) and choose healthy snacks when possible. Your physical health and mental health are very closely linked.