The holidays are stressful and it pays to enter the season prepared. Here are some tips to help you cope with holiday stress and anxiety.
The holidays are stressful times. Add in a pandemic and it’s all made significantly worse. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that can help you manage mild cases of anxiety and stress, allowing you to stay healthy and to have the best possible time alongside your loved ones.
First though, why are the holidays so stressful? It’s not just you who experiences a rush of anxiety when the date is near. The holiday season is beloved by most, which adds a certain amount of pressure that appears to grow worse as you get older and have more responsibilities. Then there’s also the fact that human beings suffer when their routines get thrown out of order, something that the holiday season is meant to do.
Here are some mental health tips that can help you cope and have a good time this holiday season:
Make time to rest
Resting is very difficult when it’s the holidays when you usually prioritize friends, family, and alcohol. And while it’s good to share with your loved ones, it’s also important to have enough gas in the tank so you can actually enjoy these moments. Rest when you have time to do so, checking in with yourself periodically in order to have an understanding of how you’re feeling. If you have too many engagements, prioritize. You may not be able to attend every event you want to go to and that’s okay, just remember to let other people know with some time.
Stay in the moment
Anxiety functions by pushing us to the future, especially during times of high stress. Try not to think about the pandemic or the Omicron variant, and remember to stay in the present and to be as safe and comfortable as you can. Opt out of big parties if you don’t feel comfortable and make sure to get your booster if you haven’t done it already.
Boundaries are good things, whether you’re talking about your time or your health. When it comes COVID-19 make sure to be clear about your health boundaries with others, whether that means asking people to get tested before meeting up or wearing face masks and meeting outdoors if they are not vaccinated. Then there’s also emotional boundaries, which are helpful when dealing with family and friends. Make sure you have time to be alone if you need it, whether that means going on a run or meditating. Be clear about your boundaries and your need for space.
Have some relaxation techniques at hand
The best thing you can do is be prepared for some craziness, entering the holiday season ready, with some tools at hand. Expect for your buttons to be pushed, since that’s kind of what family does, and try your best to understand your feelings and see where they’re coming from. Be ready to tap out of social situations if you’re not into them or to binge some TV if needing some alone time. Downloading a meditation app won’t hurt either.