How to De-stress this Holiday Season

The holidays are here, days full of laughter and cheer. Time to pull out the Christmas lights, start the bonfires, play all the Christmas music and get into the full swing of holiday cheer. It’s time to buy presents, prepare the food, send out invitations, get together with the entire family and always be in holiday spirits but what about the days you don’t feel too cheery? What about the mornings the holidays don’t feel like a holiday?  What are some ways we can keep the holidays stress-free and full of fun? Well, here are some tips on how to, hopefully, be stress-free this holiday season.

This season is a time of year that many find solace and happiness in but too many it is a time of year that brings on forced cheerfulness and fake smiles more than anything. Seeing everyone in a cheerful mood makes others feel that they must follow the crowd and at least pretend to be in high spirits. According to Mayo Clinic, it is okay to acknowledge your feelings and reach out to others. No one should feel forced to be in holiday spirits if they are not feeling cheerful. It is not a bad idea to reach out to those in the community who can provide support during the holidays.

Be realistic, set aside differences, and plan ahead says the Mayo Clinic. Sometimes the holidays bring about certain changes, conversations, and differences in many families. Many times, being stressed over things that cannot be changed can lead to more stress and a bad mood, being realistic about changes in traditions or rituals can help with accepting that things change and people change. Learning to set aside differences and accepting people for who they are can help create a better environment for everyone during the holidays.

During the holidays one of the hardest things to keep up is a healthy lifestyle. Mayo Clinic explains that during the holidays it is important to not abandon healthy habits. Making sure to eat healthy snacks during the holidays can help with controlling overindulging in snacks and overeating. Making sure to go to sleep at a reasonable time can help with keeping energy levels high. While maintaining a reasonable sleep schedule and healthy eating habits, always remember to make time for physical activity each day. Physical activity helps clear the mind and keeps thoughts away from crazy schedules.

Making sure to be physically active outside may help people who suffer from Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder or SAD. SAD is a type of depression that people suffer from due to lack of sunlight due to shorter days and bad weather says Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., on Psychology Today. Goldsmith also writes that it is important to be aware of Post Holiday Syndrome, this is a syndrome where people have to go back to real life after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Goldsmith advises that people take one day after the holidays to rest and take time to separate from all the holiday fun.

The holidays, although fun, can feel stressful. No one should feel like a Grinch just because they may not feel the holiday cheer. Hopefully, with some planning, and alone time the holidays will be no less than amazing this season. Enjoy the delicious food, the festive music, all the people and the experience, but always make sure to put personal health and wellness before anything else this season

 

Sources:

Goldsmith, Barton. “10 Tools for Dealing with Holiday Stress and Depression.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 21 Dec. 2011, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201112/10-tools-dealing-holiday-stress-and-depression..  

Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Tips for Coping with Holiday Stress.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Sept. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544.

 

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