Surviving the holiday season can be a real challenge for anyone. There’s the stress of shopping for presents, the constant onslaught of holiday music, and familial obligations to meet. If that wasn’t bad enough, our businesses and friends are often clamoring for our time for special gatherings as well! No matter how much we want to participate in these activities, they can put a serious strain on our already limited time and coping mechanisms. Throw seasonal depression and holiday blues into the mix, and getting through it with your head up can seem almost impossible.
Take a Little Me Time
One thing we have to remember during this time of year is the importance of taking a little “you” time to clear your head. No one has the right to create obligations on your time, energy, or well-being except yourself. When things are getting overwhelming, remember that you have the right and responsibility to take time out to take care of yourself. If this means skipping a holiday dinner or turning down that invite to a night out, so be it. Relax in the bath, read a book, binge something on Netflix, whatever it takes to restore your inner energy, and give you a sense of well-being. Make it your gift to you during the holidays.
Don’t Commit To More Than You Can Do
We all want to make the holidays as special and memorable as possible, but there’s a need to manage our expectations to make it through in one piece. As much fun as drama isn’t; it’s also nearly impossible to avoid when you have groups of people together. When those people are all family, the odds of a steaming cup of tea rises dramatically. Whether it’s an argument about something going wrong with the meal or differences in religion and politics cause verbal conflicts, no gathering is going to be flawless. Accept the madness inherent in large gatherings, don’t sweat the small stuff, and appreciate the unexpected.
Don’t Overextend Your Wallet
The Holidays can be seriously expensive, and pushing your budget beyond what it can reasonably support is just going to lead to stress that can last for months afterward. Whether it’s the presents under the tree or the decorations that cover every inch of your house and yard, the cost can add up very quickly. Set yourself a budget before the season begins to help keep yourself on track, and you can save yourself heartache and worry in the weeks ahead.
These are just a selection of the ways you can manage your stress during the holidays by taking steps to eliminate the causes. While it’s not possible to remove all the stressors from the holidays, you can at least give yourself the best chance of simply enjoying the weeks to come. Need more help handling the season? Reach out to a Family Psychiatry & Therapy office in a New Jersey location near you. We offer services in Paramus and East Orange.