The holidays can be a rough time for millions of people; the stresses that come with getting holiday shopping, cooking, and organizing done can lead to anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse or suicidal thoughts.
Fortunately, there are many little things you can do to combat these feelings and keep them from overwhelming you. The key is to make a plan, know when to ask for help, and take care of yourself. Once you do those things, the rest will fall into place.
Here are some of the best tips for getting through the holidays.
It’s just common sense that you won’t be able to keep your mood or energy level up if you don’t feel good or are tired. Make sure you get adequate rest, drink plenty of water, eat well, and exercise daily. If you can’t get in more than 20 or 30 minutes of workout time a day, that’s fine; just make it count! Go for a brisk walk on your lunch break or practice yoga in your living room before bed. Meditation is also hugely helpful for stress and anxiety, so consider learning how to focus your thoughts and make them work for you.
Devote a little time each and every day to an activity you enjoy. It can be as brief as a half hour, but you might find that a full hour will give your mind and body a better chance to burn off the stress. Maybe there’s a craft project you’ve been dying to get back to, a television show you watch every week, or a friend you’ve been meaning to call and catch up with. Allow yourself to have some “you” time–it’s an important part of self-care and overall wellness!
Earn Some Extra Cash
Money is almost always tight around the holidays, so make a plan for earning extra dough well before they even arrive. Get creative and sell handmade items on sites like Etsy, or consider dog boarding. If you’re allowed to have pets, it’s a great way to make money while bonding with an animal. Bonus: studies have shown that petting a dog can lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety.
If animals aren’t your passion, freelance in a field you have skills in like writing, graphic design, or customer service. You can take on as much or as little as your schedule allows, and it can be a nice change of pace from your daily responsibilities. There’s also ample opportunity for networking!
Make The Calls
For many people, the holidays are stressful because they come loaded with events and family functions that we feel we have to attend whether we want to or not. Take some of the pressure off by organizing a little get-together of your own. Being in control of the situation–whether it’s making cookies with a few family members or grabbing dinner with your friends–will help you cut down on the anxiety and just enjoy yourself.
Further, don’t convince yourself you have to attend every single party or get-together. Designate which ones are most important to you, and send your regrets to the hosts of events you won’t make it to. You won’t enjoy yourself at a function if you’re stressed about your lingering to-do list and most of your loved ones will understand, so spare yourself the guilt of not going.
If you have to travel during this hectic time of year, do it wisely. Try booking a flight for the day-of the holiday, as the day before will be one of the busiest times of year. Pack light–just a carry-on if you can, to avoid long lines and hassle–and don’t forget to bring snacks, headphones, and a book or laptop.
If you’re traveling by car, make sure you keep warm blankets, extra water, road flares, and an emergency kit in the vehicle, as well as a car charger for your phone if possible.
Remember to try to be patient, as traveling and spending time with family can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Take a timeout in a quiet area if you need to and collect your thoughts, and don’t let yourself get hungry; moods can drop in an instant when our bellies are empty.
At the end of the (busy) day, try not to forget one important fact: it’s your holiday, and you should get to enjoy it! Take care of yourself, consider earning a little extra spending cash, make the calls that are best for you and your schedule, and travel wisely to best avoid holiday stress this season.
About The Author
I’m Jennifer, and it’s wonderful to meet you. Pull up a chair and let’s have a chat.
I wish people would talk more. I am convinced that one of the best parts of the human experience is delving deep into the experiences we have and sharing them with each other. Isn’t love but a form of mutual understanding, driven by the passion and excitement of romantic preference?
I didn’t always feel this way. A lifelong sufferer of anxiety and having also battled depression, I was silent about it for most of my life. I thought the pain and numbness between which I oscillated daily were completely normal and universal. I did not realize how hard I was being on myself until I met my best friend David, who was dealing with shame and guilt issues of his own.
He opened up to me about his struggles, and we talked about his therapy sessions. Slowly I began to piece together that my “normal” wasn’t so normal after all.Together with David, I’m creating this site as a platform for advocacy on opening up on mental health. I want people to see the types of steps and success stories that can help them realize their own power.
As I work to research and write more, I’m open to talking to you, and I’d love guidance on article ideas. Feel free to drop me a line at jennifer at spiritfinder dot org.
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You read all the way to the bottom? That's what I call love!
I do the same thing for the people, things, and movements I care about as well.
PS: Looks like you and I share the same passion. I'm grateful for you and want to extend you my email address.
Write to me and let me know what you'd like to have to get more wellness in your life.
**The content found in this article was sourced and created by www.spiritfinder.org and does not reflect the exact views or suggestions made by www.wellnessforce.com