Updated: Dec 21, 2022
The holidays can be an exciting time, but can also leave you feeling stressed and lonely. The increasing demands of cooking extra meals, extra costs associated with gifts and the expectations of entertaining guests (sometimes unwelcome) can contribute to increased feelings of stress, worry and uncertainty. So, to help minimize the stress accompanying the holidays we suggests a few practical tips that you can add to your tool box.
Suggestions to help you reduce stress over the holidays
Tip #1 - Be realistic
Let go of the idea of perfect or comparing this year's festivities to last years. Allow space for flexibility and new traditions. It's okay if your holiday plans need to look different this year, you can find new and creative ways to celebrate. For example, if traveling is too expensive, find new ways to celebrate with the people you enjoy spending time with, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
Tip #2 - Allow yourself to accept your feelings
If the holidays bring up painful memories or have taken an emotional toll on you in the past, accept that it's okay to feel sad or depressed and allow yourself to express how you're feeling. You don't have to force yourself to be happy just because it's the holidays season.
Tip #3 - Surround yourself with people you enjoy
If you are feeling lonely or isolated, seek out others who make you feel welcome and give you a sense of support and companionship. This may be the time to try something new, or get more involved with a group that you've been wanting to join. Feel free to seek out community or social events through support groups or virtual meetings.
Tip #4 - It's okay to say "no"
Learn and practice saying no. Saying yes when you really want to say no only leads to resentment and overwhelm, so take care of yourself, be realistic, and utilize your boundaries. This will protect you from taking on more than you bargained for.
Tip #5 - Take time for yourself
Make time for yourself to engage in something you enjoy. Take a break to spend some time without distractions so you can reset and reduce stress. You might enjoy reading a book, taking bubble bath, taking a long walk, listening to your favorite music or engaging in your favorite hobby. Whatever it is, spend time sitting with yourself, clearing your mind, and tapping into your inner calm.
Reduce your stress during the holidays
Don't let this time of year control you. practice taking care of yourself so you can enjoy the holidays in a way that is meaningful to you.