The holiday season brings mixed emotions for many. It’s no surprise that with the expectation of family gatherings and the pressures of gift-giving comes undue anxiety, stress, and depression.
The holiday blues don’t have to feel quite so overwhelming: here are some tips to help you keep calm and carry on through the season.
- Keep to your regular routine
Changes in routine cause additional stress. While you’ve likely got some time off of work or school, remember to try and keep a regular schedule, including when you wake up, eat, exercise, and go to bed.
- Say “no” more
Ah, how the holidays present opportunities to overextend yourself. Be sure to reserve time for yourself — no matter how extroverted you are, you’ll still need time in between gatherings, dinners, and parties to recuperate.
- Use moderation
The holiday season can present a lot of excess treats, between cookies, Christmas dinners, and an abundance of seasonal cocktails. Make sure that you’re exercising moderation — while overindulging can feel good in the moment, it can also lead to an increased sense of depression and anxiety.
- Try not to set unrealistic expectations
We’ve all seen it: the perfect postcard holiday meal, the neighbor’s unreasonably perfect lights display, the film where the dysfunctional family pulls it together just in time for Christmas morning. The holidays don’t have to be perfect (nothing is), and it helps to recognize that. Avoid setting expectations and stave off disappointment by reaffirming more realistic and pragmatic thoughts about the day.
- Do something good
It’s too easy to forget about the true spirit of the holiday season — one of giving and charity and kindness — when there’s so much to do elsewhere. Doing good things for others, like volunteering or helping loved ones with favors, improves mood and self-esteem.
The holidays are only here once a year, and they only last a few weeks. If you’re not a big holiday person, we hope that using these tips will help your holiday be less stressful and more enjoyable.
Have a great holiday season!
– The Love & Kindness Family