The holidays are a time of love and laughter whilst in the company of family. It is also the time where unwanted stress and depression can sneak in – whether it is triggered by family bickering or the stress of last minute present shopping. Below are 8 tips to help you get through the lows that this holiday season may bring, so you can get enjoyment out of the holidays.
- Plan Ahead
If you know you need to grab grandma and Uncle Sue and your best friend presents, don’t wait until the very last minute when everyone is hustling and bustling. Plan to go to the exact stores you need to in order to get the gifts so you avoid being stuck in heavy traffic both on the road and in the store. Plan for parties in advance as well. Waiting until the last minute can put you into a rushed state which will raise your cortisol levels, causing you to be more stressed.
2. Don’t Overdo It
I understand the desire for everything to be perfect from the Christmas tree ornaments to Santa sitting perfectly parallel to the 5 ft candy cane beside the fireplace, but at the same time, remember not to overdo it. Yes, make sure your house is tidy and decorated well if you are having the party at your place but remember to sit back and enjoy your work with the people who love you.
3. Stay on track with life
If you take prescription medicine daily make sure to take your medicine consistently. With the hustle of the holidays its easy to get side tracked and be so exhausted in the evening and rushing in the morning that you forget to take your medication. This is very important as falling off track can make you feel even worse. Also, maintain your exercise schedule.
4. Be Mindful of Your Diet
It’s the holidays, indulge a little! It is normal to eat more around the holidays, but be aware of the food you are in-taking. Some foods, like sweets and high fat foods can cause your energy levels to drop and can make you feel more stressed and crummy. As said above, maintain your exercise schedule as best as you can and try to fit in a walk before or after a meal to help digestion. Also, be careful not to binge on food or alcohol. This will not only make you feel uncomfortable in the moment but may lead to regretful feelings later on.
5. Be Forgiving
When all your family is reunited it can be a beautiful thing. Sometimes, however, Uncle Jessie may bring up that time you screwed up, just because that’s who he is. Don’t let this get you down or get under your skin. Forgive him and move on, try not to waste anymore time on the issue. You can say “Let’s talk about this at a later time” or if you need to, step away for a bit and clear your head and return with a clean slate and ready to enjoy the festivities.
6. Don’t Overspend
It’s easy to get caught up in the sales of the season, but remember they start to add up. Create a budget and plan your expenses ahead of time. This will give you an idea of how much you will be spending and keep you in line to avoid going over budget.
7. Try Not to Isolate Yourself But Don’t Exhaust Yourself Either
If you are beginning to feel stressed and depressed, jumping into the action with family and friends can be a great way to improve your mood. After all, it’s hard to be sad when you are watching adults try to play charades or throwing rings at inflatable antlers on Aunt Sally’s head. On the other hand, if you are beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed, it is okay to take a break to get some fresh air and clear your head too. Just be sure it doesn’t make you decide to hide in your room for the rest of the evening.
8. Stay Positive
The most important of them all. Focus on the positives. Be happy you get to spend time with the family that was able to make it to see you, instead of the ones that weren’t. Be happy that you have a job that allows you to buy presents instead of wishing you had more money. Be happy to have a home to decorate instead of worrying that it doesn’t look good. And just be happy to be alive to enjoy the holidays.
Until next time,