A Guide To Managing Stress During The Holidays

A Guide To Managing Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family, but it can be difficult to juggle different personalities, parties, and your own mental health. A report from the National Alliance of Mental Health found that 64% of people living with mental illness experienced worse symptoms during the holidays. On top of that, 38% of adults find that the festive season causes stress levels to rise. Although the holidays can bring as much stress as they do joy, there are mindful tips to help you manage stress this season. 

End of the year projects, gift shopping, the arrival of family members, and traveling to see family members don’t make the holidays any easier. There are added expectations and responsibilities, which can seem unattainable. All of this can cause you to spiral out of control and into a bout of depression or anxiety. Basically, there are so many things to do with a lot less time, which is a naturally overwhelming situation. 

Take Care Of Yourself First

In order to make it through the holidays without falling apart, you have to make your mental health a top priority. It’s so easy to try to support everyone else and neglect yourself during the holidays. Shift your focus to yourself this holiday season and you may find that you have the extra energy to support others when they need it. The following tips should help invite more mindfulness into your life, helping you emerge from the holidays triumphant and less-stressed than you were in previous years. 

Respond With Kindness

It’s impossible to change how others act as a result of holiday stressors. You can, however, change how you respond to certain situations. If you encounter a difficult person, it is important to remind yourself that they may be suffering. That is why they are acting out towards you, and showing them some impassion may calm them or bring them back down to earth. The holidays are also difficult for people who are alone, so extend an act of kindness to those without family or friends this time of year. 

Set And Maintain Firm Boundaries

This goes back to caring for yourself first because an effective way to reduce holiday stress is to communicate with people in your life. Whether you’re at home or at work, establishing healthy boundaries can lead to stronger relationships and more energy. You can say yes to things, but it’s also acceptable, encouraged even, to say no to things. Once you identify your boundaries you need to maintain mental and emotional stability, you can communicate them to others. If you explain why you need to decline an offer, for example, your friends or family should respect that decision.

Reach Out

It is very easy to put yourself in the vulnerable position of reaching out to others. Do you know what typically happens if you surround yourself with good people, though? When you reach out to them, they will most likely be happy to talk and connect. Many people share the same stress and fear of the holiday season, and talking about that with another person can benefit you tremendously. Call a friend out of the blue, message old friends on social media, and be kind to those you encounter. Companionship is beautiful and talking with other people may help reduce their stress levels as well.

Set Your Differences Aside

Dealing with different personalities and opinions can be quite exhausting, especially when you’re already burnt out. Don’t add fuel to your fire by combatting family members or friends, even if they eat away at you. There is a time and place to discuss politics or opinions on certain matters, and the holiday season is not the right time. If others get upset when something goes awry, they are likely feeling the same holiday stress, so don’t enter a state of anger or distress. Talk with them and you may find some calming common ground. 

Rethink Your Resolutions

How do New Year’s resolutions relate to holiday stress? Well, this is the time of year when people start thinking about changes they want to make in the coming year. Do yourself a favor: don’t make resolutions that set you up for failure. Start small and break your goal into small steps that you can achieve over the course of the entire year. If weight loss is your goal, you don’t need to lose 20 pounds before January comes to a close. Try to eat more vegetables in January and slowly cut back on sweets or carbs throughout the next month. An impossible resolution will only cause you more stress.



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