The holidays are a time meant to foster joy in spending time with friends and family – for many though, the holiday season is one of stress, anxiety, depressions, and more. Whether suffering from a persistent mental illness or simply subject to stress due to shopping, preparing for family events, or managing the holidays during a global pandemic, keeping your mental health in check is critical for your well-being. There are numerous factors that make the holidays difficult – increased financial burden due to gift purchasing, travel requirements, hosting guests, and attending holiday parties can stress more than your wallet; busy schedules with holiday parties, events for the kids, and increased travel are also stressful to deal with, and seasonal affective disorder can make the holiday blues even more pronounced. The good news is, these are all manageable with proper coping mechanisms and strategies.
Managing Stress this Holiday Season
So what can we do to manage the stress and anxiety surrounding the holidays?
- While you may be busy, it is important to keep up with therapy sessions, as well as physical exercise. As we’ve discussed before, physical exercise can be great for mental health, and keeping up with therapy appointments can help work through or explore issues that come up.
- Avoiding alcohol (especially in excess) at holiday parties can help as well – the Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends avoiding drugs and alcohol for comfort as these substances can ultimately increase stress and exacerbate depression.
- Getting in the sun, if at all possible, can help with seasonal affective disorder. If you can workout outdoors during the day, you can improve mental health through both physical fitness and access to the sun!
- Communicate with loved ones – your family members and friends may also be stressed by the holidays as well. Communicating with them openly, whether it is concerns about budget, expectations for holidays, or how to navigate the holidays during COVID-19 can be helpful.
- Practice good self-care – this includes mindfulness techniques, eating healthily, and avoiding unrealistic expectations about your holiday plans.
You can contact us at the Granato Group if you find the stress and anxiety of the holidays to be a bit too much. We offer remote therapy sessions which can work into your schedule so you don’t feel overly burdened with an already filled schedule!