The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests, stress and depression. With all of the parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, etc. it’s no wonder why people find it hard to get though.
In this post, we are offering practical tips for you to minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays.
- 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 okay to express your feelings and grief.
- 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.
- Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Stick to your budget and consider the following alternatives:
– Donate to a charity on someone’s behalf
– Give homemade gifts
– Start a family gift exchange
- 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 onto, and be open to creating new ones.
- 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.=
- Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
- Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
- Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
Contact us for additional tips for keeping your stress levels low this holiday season.Tags: depression, depression holidays, family medicine, holiday, holiday stress, mental health, stress holidays