The holidays are a time of good cheer and family gatherings, but they can offer plenty of reasons to be stressed out — the gifts still need wrapping, the office party invites, and maybe the biggest — the family.
With potential anxiety looming on your calendar, what are some ways that you can prepare yourself and cope better this season?
Controlling Holiday Stress
- Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
- Give homemade gifts.
- Start a family gift exchange.
- Plan ahead. Set specific days for shopping, baking, and other activities. Plan your menus, make your shopping list, and then hit the store. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients.
- Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
- Don’t abandon healthy habits. If you let the holidays become a free-for-all, overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
- Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend, then stick to your budget.
Other de-stressing ideas include:
- Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Make time for regular physical activity each day.
- Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
And finally, seek professional help if you need it. If, despite your efforts, you find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They may medication for your anxiety or depression.
The medication your doctor prescribes for your anxiety — if any — will depend on your symptoms and type of anxiety disorder.
There are two overall types of medications used to treat anxiety disorders:
- Anti-anxiety medications.
Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Taking steps to prevent the stress and depression can prevent problems ahead of the holidays. Recognize your holiday triggers, like financial pressures or family demands. That way you can sidestep them before they lead to a breakdown. May you only find peace and joy during the holidays!
References: National Institute of Health – https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/nov2016/feature1
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