Although the holidays are supposed to be a time full of joy, good cheer and optimistic hopes for a new year, many people struggle during the holiday season when expectations are high and disrupted routines can feel overwhelming. However, some mental preparations and planning can help everyone cope with the season -- and hopefully enjoy it as well!
Tips for reducing or controlling stress:
Be realistic. If you feel overwhelmed by some activities (yours and/or your family's), learn to say "no."
Shed the "superman/superwoman" urge. No one is perfect so don't expect perfection from yourself or others. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
Meditate. It might be helpful to search online or find an app on your smartphone to help you find the best meditation technique for you.
Take one thing at a time and try not to overwhelm yourself with seemingly endless to-do lists and tasks.
Self-Care. Exercise, eat healthy, get an adequate amount of rest/sleep and maintain a good balance of work and play. This is easier said than done but if you make self-care a priority (and not just during the holiday season!) you will thank yourself for it.
Share your feelings. A conversation with a friend lets you know that you are not the only one having a bad day, feeling anxious, caring for a sick child, or working in a busy office. Stay in touch with your friends and family and let them provide love, support and guidance. If you don't have someone you feel comfortable reaching out to, you can call our Compassionate Ear Warmline (details below) to talk to someone. Don't try to cope alone.
Click here to learn more about the physical and mental effects of stress.