The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people. For some, the holidays are painful reminders of loved ones lost. For others, finances become tight. Whatever your reason for feeling less than your best this holiday season, consider these tips as you navigate through it.
Keep to Your Routine
The holiday season generally involve a deviation from a normal work and school schedule. One of the key factors in managing stress is keeping to your routine. Having regular bedtimes and waketimes is an important factor in getting quality sleep. It is encouraged to keep these same times when you are not working or attending school to keep your body in the rhythm you have developed.
Watch Your Eating and Drinking
This time of year means food, sweets, and alcohol aplenty. It is wise to set limits for your alcohol consumption as alcohol can exacerbate depressive symptoms. Overeating often creates guilty feelings adding to your holiday stress.
You may not be able to make it to every party or event you are invited to. You may not have time to make that dish for the potluck. Don’t be afraid to say no. Additionally, set realistic expectations for traveling and get togethers. Planning too many activities will leave you stressed out and overwhelmed.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
The holidays often involve travelling and gift-giving which can stretch the finances thin. Consider creating a budget for travel and gift-giving and holding yourself accountable to it. When the new year rolls around, consider setting aside money each month to save for the holidays later in the year.
It’s Not About the Gifts
Ultimately, the holidays are not about the gifts, but the people we share it with. Focus on being in the moment with the people you care for.
Ask for Help
Most importantly, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact your support system for help. The holidays are overwhelming for many, but establishing connection with others helps to life depressive symptoms.
If you are finding the holidays particularly difficult to cope with, you can contact Cy-Hope Counseling to find a counselor who will help you learn new skills to cope with this time of year.
Written by: Kristina Zufall, M.Ed., LPC-Intern