6 practical strategies for managing stress this holiday season – CNET | Directory Mayhem

holiday mood. We should all have it this time of year. We want it to ooze out of our pores and spread the holiday spirit to everyone around us.

The reality of the holiday season for many people is an influx of Stress and Anxiety Symptoms. The holiday season demands a lot – lavish meals, well thought-out gifts and a smile that never falters. You are not alone if you are not feeling happy and bright.

If at this time of year increases your stress level, it can feel like you’re doomed to fight your way through the season. Luckily, there are practical tips and strategies you can use to minimize holiday stress and anxiety. Here’s what you should know.

How do the holidays affect the psyche?

The holidays are the most mentally difficult time of the year for many people.

According to a survey commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association, 41% of Americans said their stress levels increased during the holidays.

A lot is expected of us during the holidays, which can make anxiety skyrocket. But it’s not just stress or social anxiety that occurs. Depression is also common during the holidays. For some, this can lead to loneliness or unfulfillment, which increases symptoms of depression, especially if someone is grieving over the holidays or is already living with it seasonal affective disorder.

Conditions like depression and anxiety can worsen, with the added stress of family and friends holiday shopping or the isolation that COVID-19 has brought to some people’s vacations.

6 tips for managing stress on vacation

Acknowledge what you are feeling

Just because it’s holiday season doesn’t mean you’re automatically happy. And that’s okay. The first step in managing stress is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Once you name the stress and realize it’s happening, you can decide how to respond to it.

Acknowledging the stress you are feeling can also help you find the source of your stress. Maybe your plans fail or it’s stressful having the whole family in the house.

Naming your feelings and then identifying what is causing your anxiety symptoms to flare up can help you get things under control.

Woman sitting on the floor surrounded by papers planning her bills and expenses during the holiday season

urbazon/Getty Images

Plan ahead where you can

One of the most stressful parts of vacationing is all the planning and coordination that goes into it. Planning is a crucial tool to reduce vacation stress.

If you give yourself the space to identify potential problems and plan how to address them, you can solve some problems before they arise. Plan as much as possible – yours Holiday spending budget, Your travel checklist or what you are to eat out. To reduce and anticipate stress, plan as much as possible.

Embrace saying no

To have Boundaries are essential for our mental health. They’re even more important during the holidays, when stress levels are high and we’re off schedule. It’s easy to say yes to anything, especially when family asks for it.

However, if you don’t want to participate in a specific tradition or activity, say no. Saying no and respecting your boundaries can not only relieve stress, but also maintain positive relationships and protect your values. Feeling empowered to say no will help you not push yourself too far and go on vacation Burn out.

Take time for yourself

Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming when all family members are crammed into one house for days. Understandably, you may be feeling a little stressed. Remember, no matter how far you or your family have traveled, you can take it with you some time to yourself. You can spare about an hour to get away and Prioritize self-care.

Self-care looks different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to take care of yourself, although most activities allow you to be alone and take a breather.

Common self-care strategies for the holidays

  • To go for a walk
  • breathing exercises or meditate
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go to the gym
  • Read a book
  • listen to music

Stick to your healthy habits

The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. A lot happens and sometimes our normal habits and routines fall by the wayside. Instead of our workout routine, we stay indoors and watch a movie. Instead of grabbing a healthy snack, we grab the holiday treats around us.

Things alone aren’t bad. A few cookies and skipping the gym won’t ruin your healthy journey. However, it can increase your stress. Processed or high-sugar foods have been linked to increased levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the primary hormone that regulates our stress response. When there is too much cortisol in the body, you feel stressed.

If you are feeling stressed, prioritize your established healthy diet and exercise habits as much as possible. Don’t add stress to your life by setting unrealistic expectations or goals during the holiday season. Find the middle ground that suits you.

Two elderly women sit on the porch steps drinking coffee in front of their house.

MoMo Productions/Getty Images

Reach out to family and friends

The holidays can also be extremely isolating, especially when you don’t have family or are able to visit. Symptoms of depression can change due to factors such as family stressors, social isolation, or seasonal affective disorder.

If you’re predisposed to symptoms of depression, it’s important to reach out to people when you need a connection. Whether it’s Zoom sessions or regular phone calls, being conscious of your need to connect can help you get through the holiday season.

Too long; not read?

The holidays, as beautiful as they are, can be an extremely stressful time of year for many people. But don’t worry, you can avoid the pitfalls and indeed improve your mental health during the holiday season; it just takes a little intention. Try things like planning, setting boundaries, and self-care to make sure you enjoy yourself.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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