Some may call this “the most wonderful time of the year”, but we know that the holiday season can actually be some of the most stressful months of the year. The busy nature of the season can lead to depression and overwhelming stress. Take some time to prepare for the next several weeks so you can enjoy the holidays rather than simply survive.
Pressure for Perfect Holidays
Holidays receive special attention in the media. The holiday scenes pictured on TV set extremely high standards and put pressure on Americans to live up to extravagant standards. These ads and commercials remind us of the things we “need”. Many people also feel stress as they anticipate the gatherings with extended family members and friends. It can be difficult to imagine spending time with certain people who press our buttons or let us down.
How do you deal with added pressure and spending more time with others?
Turn off the TV
. Spend less time watching TV to avoid the extra pressure.
. Take time during the holidays to stop and reflect on the blessings you have and the many reasons you should be thankful.
Start new traditions
. It is a great time to pick new traditions to start with family and loved ones. Traditions can be simple and often start spontaneously when you aren’t stressing over detailed plans.
Food and Alcohol in Excess
Many holiday celebrations center around tables of food and trays of alcoholic drinks. The added temptations can be a trigger for old habits or a trap for potential eating problems. Making a plan to handle food and alcohol temptation will help you avoid regret associated with overeating or drinking a little too much.
Make a plan
. Whether you stock up your pantry with healthy snacks, replace your holiday recipes with healthier versions, or add extra workouts, pick a plan that will work best for you.
Set your priorities
. Listing your priorities will remind you that the central focus of celebrations is spending time with others rather than tasting every treat.
The holiday season often sneaks up on us and catches us unprepared. This leaves us feeling like we can’t quite catch up with the parties, baking, entertaining, shopping, and cleaning that needs to be done. Changing your attitude will help you stay relaxed even in the face of a full calendar.
Stick to a budget
. Set limits for spending for each responsibility you have. Creating a budget ahead of time will help you keep things in perspective and avoid spending too much money.
Reach out for help
. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family members for help. Most will be happy to help, and it may give you a chance to work together.
Consider professional help
. There is no shame in looking for help from professionals. If you feel consistently sad or anxious, consider talking to a doctor or mental health specialist.
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