Stress & The holidays – Tips for coping
While purposed to be a joyful time, the holiday season can bring along much unwanted stress and hassle. It often creates an overwhelming array of demands such as shopping, baking, cleaning, cooking and entertaining. In addition, there is also the current worry of the COVID-19 virus. Concerns about whether you can be present with your loved ones, or that your plans for the holiday look a little different this year due to the pandemic, may also be causing much stress and upset.
Tips to prevent holiday stress
To help you through it, we’ve put together some practical tips that can minimise the holiday period stress:
# 1 – Be realistic
Remember that the holiday time doesn’t have to be perfect! Accept that this year, things will likely look a little different for everyone, and that’s OK. Be open to creating new ways around things. For example, if your loved ones are unable to be with you in your home, find a different way to be together. That may be by sharing photos, emails or videos. You could also schedule a Zoom family gathering so you can be together in live time.
# 2 – Get organised
Plan ahead and decide on your set days for cooking, shopping or connecting with family. You may find that shopping online reduces much stress and anxiety. Take time to plan your food menu so that you are not scrambling around last minute to buy forgotten ingredients. You could also assign certain family members chores around the home or to help out with the meal prep where possible.
#3 – Keep a healthy routine
There can be a lot of overindulgence during the holidays – but this will likely only add to your guilt and stress. Instead, eat a healthy snack before your meals, so that you don’t overindulge on cheese, sugary sweets or drinks. Be sure to limit your use of tobacco and alcohol, get enough sleep each night and keep a good regular exercise routine.
# 4 – Learn to say no
Constantly saying yes and packing too much into your schedule can leave you feeling both overwhelmed and resentful. Your work mates, friends and family will understand that you cannot participate in every planned activity or project. If it’s not possible to say no to a task or event, try to remove something else from your agenda to gain back that lost time.
# 5 – Stick to your budget
Overspending is another cause for stress over the holidays. Before you do any shopping -even for food – work out exactly how much you can afford to buy and then stick to your budget. Remember, the best memories come from spending time together not spending money.
# 6 – Find time for self-care
Be sure to take a breather. Spending just 15 minutes alone or doing something you enjoy such as a hobby, can help to refresh you and leave you ready to handle everything on your to-do list. Some relaxation ideas include taking an evening walk, reading a book, soaking in a bubble bath or listening to soothing music.
# 7 – Seek help if you need it
If, despite your best efforts, you are unable to shift a persistent feeling of anxiety or sadness and find yourself unable to sleep or face daily chores, it’s time to seek the help of a professional. At Positive Mind Works, our experienced team of psychologists are here to help. What’s more, our online and flexible appointments make scheduling a time easy – we will fit around your busy schedule. Click here to book.