The holidays are supposed to a time of great joy, but the weeks leading up to them can be full of anxiety. Why is Christmastime so stressful? From dealing with finances to handling time management to navigating complicated family dynamics, the holidays involve a lot of balancing, leading to anxiety. But the season doesn’t have to be so stressful.
Stress-Relieving Tips for the Holidays
Follow these suggestions to preserve your mental health and make it through the holidays.
1. Take a Break When You Need One
When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, take a break. Step away from a situation that’s causing you tension — whether it’s shopping for gifts or trying to coordinate a family dinner — and choose something to do instead that will bring you calm. You might meditate, read or enjoy a long walk. When you return, remind yourself that you are in charge of your life. You don’t have to do things that make you feel uncomfortable, even if other people want you to.
2. Set a Schedule and Stick to It
Time management during the holidays can be particularly challenging. You may feel tempted to participate in many activities but realize you can’t jam them all into your day. Laying out a schedule ahead of time can help you manage your time better. If you can’t fit something into that schedule, then don’t waste time lamenting it. There’s always next year.
3. Get Enough Sleep
When you feel tired, you’re more prone to anxious feelings. Getting enough rest each night can help you cope with the holiday season’s regular ups and downs. Set a nonnegotiable nightly bedtime and remind yourself that the presents you need to wrap will still be there the next morning.
4. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Sometimes appreciating what we have can help us maintain a cheerier long-term outlook. When you practice giving thanks for even the smallest of things, such as a visit with a friend or a day off from work, you can keep your frustrations in perspective. Life may feel hard at the moment, but almost everyone has a few things they can be grateful for in their lives.
5. Show Generosity
No matter your income level, you can choose generosity during the holidays. Sometimes your time is the greatest gift you can give. Reaching out to a relative who doesn’t have any immediate family living with them takes just a few minutes and can leave a lasting impact. Volunteering at your child’s school or organizing the office holiday gift exchange will make you feel good for days. Look for unexpected ways to bring joy to others each day.
6. Have Fun Yourself
In the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be easy to forget that the holidays should be fun. No one will remember if the roast wasn’t perfect this year, but they will remember the laughs you had during dinner and the excitement you shared while opening presents. Take a breath and remember to enjoy yourself.
Seek Assistance This Holiday Season
If you need more than stress relief tips, a counselor can help you work through your anxiety. Book an appointment today to speak with a trusted professional at Taylor Counseling Group.