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How to combat stress during the holiday season

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
How to combat stress during the holiday season

The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it can also be a time of stress. From shopping and decorating to cooking and entertaining, there’s a lot to do in a short period of time. And if you’re not careful, it can all get a little overwhelming.

If you’re feeling stressed about the holidays, don’t worry – you’re not alone. A recent study found that nearly half of Americans say they feel stressed during the holiday season. But there are things you can do to manage your stress and enjoy the holidays to the fullest.

Here are a few tips:

  • Set realistic expectations: It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hype and set unrealistic expectations for yourself. But it’s important to remember that it’s okay to say no to social events, delegate tasks, and take things easy. Don’t try to do too much, or you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
  • Take care of yourself: It’s important to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, during the holiday season. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. You should also take some time for yourself each day to relax and de-stress. Try reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to music.
  • Avoid overspending: Financial stress is one of the biggest sources of holiday stress. To avoid overspending, set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to buy expensive gifts for everyone on your list. Instead, focus on giving gifts that are meaningful and thoughtful.
  • Delegate tasks: Don’t try to do everything yourself. Ask your family and friends for help with holiday tasks, such as shopping, decorating, and cooking. Delegating tasks will free up your time and energy so you can focus on enjoying the holidays.
  • Say no: It’s okay to say no to social events and holiday commitments, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t feel guilty about taking some time for yourself.
  • Take breaks: If you’re feeling stressed, take a break from the holiday festivities. Go for a walk, listen to music, or read a book. Taking some time for yourself will help you relax and recharge.
  • Seek professional help if needed.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday stress, talk to a therapist or counselor. They can teach you coping mechanisms and help you manage your stress.

Here are some additional tips for combating stress during the holiday season:

  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, and simply taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breath. Mindfulness can help you reduce stress and anxiety, and it can also help you appreciate the simple things in life.
  • Spend time with loved ones: Spending time with loved ones is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood. Make time for the people who are important to you during the holiday season, even if it’s just for a quick phone call or coffee date.
  • Give back to others: Helping others can be a great way to reduce stress and feel good about yourself. Consider volunteering your time to a local charity or homeless shelter during the holiday season.
  • Take care of your physical health: Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are all important for managing stress. Make sure you’re taking care of your physical health during the holiday season, even if it’s just by making small changes, such as going for a walk after dinner or eating a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family, friends, or a therapist. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and it can make a big difference in your stress levels.

The holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration, not stress. By following these tips, you can manage your stress and enjoy the holidays to the fullest.

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We live in a day and age where technology can be consuming, but during this time of “social distancing” there are many ways that we can use technology to stay connected from a distance.

You can use apps such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Zoom, and Houseparty to connect with family and friends!

1. Share with friends

Reach out to friends and family and keep them updated on how you are doing with all of your time spent at home. Share what books you are reading, shows you are watching, or small things you have accomplished throughout the day. 

2. Snail mail

Go old school, find a pen pal and write them a letter. Document what you are experiencing in this time of quarantine, then you will have these letters to look back on in years to come.

3. Virtual game night

Looking for something to do with friends while all staying in your own homes? Virtual game night! You can play charades, Heads Up, Pictionary, Drawful and many other games with a group of friends or family all through a video chat platform.

4. Cook-off

Share your favorite recipe with friends, and make each other’s favorite dishes. Video chat your meal with each other and share how your meal turned out!

Make it a little more exciting by leading your friends in a “follow-along” recipe night, and teach them how to make your favorite dish while they follow along in their own kitchen.

5. Create a virtual event

Make a Facebook event and invite some friends to join you for a virtual party. Create a virtual spa night, or “host” video game tournaments with friends. Plan to all watch the same movie or documentary together and discuss it after!

We all know that actually engaging with others face-to-face is the best type of interaction, but talking through these technological platforms allow us to stay connected in any situation.

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