We know that the holiday season often brings with it added stress and anxiety. This year may look a little different than last year. We may find ourselves once again invited to in-person holiday parties and social gatherings. After missing out last year, we may feel overwhelmed trying to fit everything in such a short period of time. Add to that the stress that comes with shopping and juggling the other typical holiday demands.
Trying to make sure everyone has the “perfect” Christmas in between work and other family obligations can be completely exhausting. We may then find ourselves dreading the long grey winter that settles in after all the gifts have been exchanged and all the holiday goodies have been consumed. So, what can be done to help manage all the anxiety and exhaustion?
Here are 13 Tips to help you cope through the holidays:
1) LET GO OF THE NEED FOR PROTECTION:
Our own expectations are often what leads to increased stress and often sets us up for disappointment. There is no such thing as perfect. Be okay with “good enough.”
2) TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF:
Prioritizing your self-care Is essential. It can be whatever you need it to be on any given day from reading, listing to music or taking a drive. You are no good to anyone else, including yourself, if you are exhausted and burned out.
3) GET OUTDOORS:
Even if it is cold out. Dress in layers, go for a brisk walk or a short hike. Spending time outdoors in the winter can help beat the winter blues and give us a natural dose of Vitamin D.
4) WRITE THINGS DOWN:
When we are stressed and overwhelmed, we tend to forget things, which includes at work too.
Set boundaries and be okay with saying “no”. You don’t have to do it all.
Set a budget and stick to it. That includes budgeting your time!
7) TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA:
Take a social media break. Don’t try to keep up with what you think your friends or family are doing.
8) CHANGE CAN BE GOOD:
Be okay with changing traditions. Practice acceptance and create new traditions.
Get plenty of sleep. Getting 7- 8 hours of sleep per night is important for healthy brain functioning.
10) YOU’RE NOT ALONE:
Remember that other people are stressed too. You can’t change how others respond to stress, but you can change how you respond. If you find yourself in a challenging situation, take a few deep breaths before responding.
11) NIX THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:
If you have goals for the coming year, try breaking them down into smaller steps that are more realistic and attainable. And be kind to yourself. Let go of judgments and negative self-talk.
Practice mindfulness or meditation daily.
Most importantly, if you are struggling, reach out.