The holidays are a time for getting together with family and friends and remembering the important things in life. But long to-do lists, crowded malls, and cooking and decorating can sometimes be a source of overwhelming stress.
If the holidays make you frazzled, try these tips for lowering your stress and getting in touch with the true meaning of the season.
Get some alone time. Even a 15-minute break can help you relax and relieve stress. Taking a brisk walk or getting some exercise can significantly improve your mood.
Set limits. You can’t do everything, so do only what you enjoy. Allow friends and family members to share their ideas about what they would like to do during the holidays.
Reduce shopping stress. Set a budget and do not spend more than you intend. Don’t let guilt, competitiveness or perfectionism send you on more shopping trips than you would like.
Enlist help. Let your friends and family contribute to the holiday preparations.
Be realistic. Don’t set your holiday expectations too high. Allow your loved ones to be themselves; set any conflicts aside for another time.
Reflect on the past. Honor and remember those who have passed away.
Be organized. Plan meals, shopping lists and other activities in advance so you have more time to enjoy the holidays.
Remember what’s important. Spend some time focusing on family, religious beliefs or traditions.
While the holidays are supposed to be a time of optimism and joy, many people feel alone this time of year. These efforts might help:
Find support. People with a difficult family situation can set aside time to spend with friends.
Volunteer. Doing something for someone else, especially someone less fortunate, can help with perspective.
Reach out. Making new friends or connecting with old ones alleviates feelings of isolation.
Limit alcohol. It can heighten feelings of stress or loneliness.
The first step in getting appropriate treatment for depression is to talk to your doctor. You can also self-refer to a behavioral health specialist by calling the phone number on the back of your WHA identification card. For more about information about your behavioral or mental health services, visit mywha.org/BH.
Source: St. Joseph Health