MANAGING STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Demands this time of year can be high:
family, cooking meals, shopping, cleaning, travel, entertaining, social events and more.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO PREVENTING ADDED HOLIDAY STRESS & DEPRESSION:
Acknowledge your feelings. If you’ve suffered a loss or you can’t be with loved ones, sadness and grief are normal. You can’t force happiness just because it seems it’s expected.
Set aside differences. Try to accept friends & family for who they are, how they are. Realize they may be just as anxious and feeling the holiday stress too.
Stick to a budget. Decide how much you can afford and stick to it! Think about gifting experiences or homemade gifts. Start a family gift exchange or draw names to limit the number of gifts. Donate to someone’s favorite cause instead of buying mounds of gifts.
Get organized. Set aside time and days for baking, shopping, and meeting up with people. Plan your menus and buy ahead. If you are in recovery, plan how you will stay sober: talk with your sponsor, bring a non-alcoholic drink along, attend events with a sober companion.
Keep up the healthy habits. Over indulgence adds to stress and guilt.
- Add in healthy snacks to the sweets & heavy meals.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid excessive tobacco, alcohol and drug use.
- Continue your regular exercise
Be realistic. Things don’t have to be perfect. Traditions and rituals can change, or you can create new ones.
Learn to say no. Saying yes out of obligation or when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. You can’t participate
in everything offered, and that’s okay, others will understand!
Reach out for support. Engage with community, religious or social events. Find an online support group. Talk to a family member or friend via phone, text, or video chat. Volunteer to help lift your spirits. Donate your time to a local shelter; drop off a meal or dessert at a friend’s house; offer dog walking services to an adoption center, or help package donations at your church.
Take a breather. Make time for yourself. Even 15 minutes alone, without distractions, can refresh you to handle the rest. Try slow breathing, taking a walk, listening to music, or reading a book.
Seek professional help if you need it. If you are feeling persistently sad or anxious, unable to sleep, extra irritable and unable to face daily routines and these feelings last a while, reach out to your doctor, therapist or Employee Assistance Plan.