How To Combat Holiday-Related Stress And Depression
by Jane Moore
Holiday time can be stressful for many people, and when the stress and anxiety turn to depression and suicidal thoughts, it can be difficult to reach out for help. So many of us feel low around the holidays but are afraid of being a burden to others, yet that connection is so important during this time. That’s why it is imperative to know healthy ways to battle stress and anxiety as well as the best ways to prevent those feelings and keep them from being overwhelming.
Between shopping for gifts, finding time to spend with family, cooking, cleaning, and fitting in work and/or school, the holidays are hard on anxiety sufferers. The best way to combat the negative feelings and stress is to plan well, treat yourself with kindness, and surround yourself with supportive people. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
You can’t expect to be your best self if you’re tired and don’t have a good diet, so be sure to get enough rest and eat well. Cut back on caffeine–as this can cause kidney issues and interfere with sleep–and replace that junk food with pre-cut raw veggies. Keep these in resealable bags in the fridge so you can grab one and go.
Don’t forget to get in daily exercise, and remember to treat yourself. Pick a day or two out of the week to set aside time that’s for you only, and fill it with something you enjoy. A favorite television show, a book, a long hot bath, dinner with friends; whatever it is that makes you happy, do it, even if it means you have to schedule it. This can help you stay stress-free and lessen the tension you feel after a long, full day.
Ask for help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with tasks, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. If you have supportive friends or family who want to assist you, delegate some chores. Even getting small things out of the way can help you save your time for the really important stuff and reduce the load on your shoulders.
Some people work better if they have a planner in which they can write every single task, appointment, and chore; others prefer to keep it on their smartphone or tablet. Whichever works best for you, do it. Write lists for shopping and cross off tasks as you do them; not only will this help you stay organized, it will help you feel accomplished.
Manage family issues carefully
Just about everyone has family members they don’t get along with, which can make the holidays even tougher. If you’ll be spending time in a situation with someone you’re uncomfortable being around, plan on what to say or how to tactfully remove yourself. Being prepared for such a situation will help you feel in control and will hopefully enable you to avoid conflict. Keep yourself occupied; instead of sitting around talking, bring board games or organize a sledding/snowman building session.
Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need someone to talk to, there are resources. You are not alone.
About the Author: “Jane Moore believes in the healing power of travel. She loves exploring unfamiliar places and writing about her experiences at FitwellTraveler.”