The holiday season is fun, busy, and often stressful. We’re visiting with family, entertaining, shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating and traveling. At times, it can seem overwhelming. Stress reduces our ability to fight off germs and stay healthy. Celebrating with a runny nose or cough is no fun for anyone. The holidays can also provoke temporary depression during what is mean to be the happiest time of year.
- Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, reach out to those around you for support and companionship.
- Do something for someone else. Volunteering your time can also lift your spirits and broaden your scope of friendships.
- Be realistic. We all have images of how the holidays should be, but if the reality isn’t living up to what you had in mind, don’t let the need for perfection overwhelm you. Families continually grow and change, and that means family traditions and rituals will also change. So, keeping an open mind and being flexible is important.
- Learn to say no. If you take on too many projects, professionally or personally, you will end up feeling stressed and possibly even resentful. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
- Take a breather. Make time for yourself because you know your limits best. If you recognize that you’re starting to feel stressed or overwhelmed, do something for yourself that will alleviate the frantic feelings. Take a walk, listen to some soothing music or leave your desk for a few minutes to clear your head. Practicing these stress relieving activities will give you a “go-to” list when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Don’t forget to follow your regular health habits. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you should go on the cookie diet, although it is tempting. Moderation is key. You can enjoy the holiday treats, but in healthy amounts.
Being aware of your holiday stress or depression triggers could be the key for happy, memorable holidays. Remember these practical tips to keep your emotions in balance and your spirits as joyous as the season.