How to Combat Holiday Blues and Stress
The holiday season often lends itself to non-stop festivities, oodles of decorating/DIY’s, busy shopping sprees, and endless to-do lists. All of which, can quickly transform a cheery season into something much less desirable.
For many, the holidays are a joyful time of the year. For others, it can be a “not-so-happy” or difficult season due to a variety of factors such as: finances, grief/loss, seasonal depression, or loneliness; the actual culprit(s) can be limitless. And yet, at the heart of it all, many people are dealing with fundamental issues and are in need of viable solutions.
Here are some proven ways to tackle holiday woes and keep bothersome stress at bay.
- Create a plan for the season. Make a holiday tasks list and make sure to include everything you wish to accomplish, like social engagements, gifts to buy, social engagements and other activities. Put important deadlines and dates on your calendar. Prioritize your commitments. Organize and plan your menus; make corresponding grocery list. Organizing your time, may help you feel as if you have more control of your day which will inevitably help to alleviate or prevent excessive stress. The key is not to try to fit more in your schedule than you can handle.
- Be present. You can easily find yourself distracted during the hustle and bustle of the season. It’s important to be mindful and not be swept away by the flurry of the festivities. Taking time to bask in the things we enjoy most about the season is essential; honing in on the aspects that mean the most to you.
- Shop online. Save yourself some time and undue pressure by cyber shopping. Avoid the frenzy of long lines and congested traffic by hoping online and basking in crowd-free shopping.
- Get some honey. Honey is a proven energy provider as well as immunity builder. Consuming small amounts of darker honey is proven to boost energy and deliver a powerful punch of antioxidants; for both reasons, they’re an wellness lover’s good friend.
- Respect your limits. Don’t overextend yourself. Remember it’s perfectly fine, almost requisite to say no sometimes. If you’re exhausted, make sure to get some rest. Make an asserted effort to adhere to limits on your wallet too. Sit down, create a budget for yourself and stick to it.
- Take a tech time-out. Sometimes we need to take a much needed break from technology. It’s easy to get whisked away by text notifications, email alerts and YouTube tutorials. Not only do they keep us in a continuous fight-or flight mode, but they’re also proven culprits of exhaustion and stress. Allocating time to disconnect from technology can help us replenish the fuel we need to feel well and sustain during the holidays.
- Take in a dab of citrus. According to research, citrus fragrances enhance feelings of well-being and reduce stress by increasing our levels of norepinephrine the hormone that impacts mood. Try placing a little orange or lemon essential oil in diffuser or placing a little on your handkerchief and taking a whiff throughout the day; it works wonders!
- Get some sunlight and exercise. Research has proven that sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin which helps to relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The statistics show that SAD significantly impacts millions of Americans every year. Spending time outdoors or as close to the sun as possible as well as participating in some form of exercise (walking, running, yoga, etc.) can prove to be an effective way to boost energy, diminish stress, and ounteract depression.
- Take a breather. Carve out some time during the holiday season to take care of yourself. You’d be surprised what just 15 minutes or so of “distraction-free” time can do for your mind. You might want to try reading a book, getting a massage, listening to relaxing music, or taking a power nap. Taking the time to retreat, practicing good breathing techniques, identifying things that help you reduce stress, and putting them to action will help you in restore your inner calm.
- Reach out. If you feel persistently sad, lonely or anxious, seek out resources or support in your community. Stay connected with your pastor/clergyman, close friends, life coach or counselor. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. If these feeling persist, make sure talk to your doctor, or mental health professional .
And last but not least, remember to enjoy the holidays, soak up the things that bring you the most joy while avoiding or managing the things that aren’t as beneficial.
See our holiday gift guide for great wellness products that can help alleviate holiday stress.
Stress management information & resources
Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms you’re worried about, or talk to a pharmacist about medication questions.