The holiday season is upon us again, even as it seems it just ended. Along with the holidays can come unwelcome guests – stress and depression. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic (plus some) for dealing with the stress so that you can face the season with more "Ho Ho Ho!" than "Oh No!"
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The holidays do not have to be perfect or the same as last year. Families grow and change. Be open to creating new traditions.
Set Aside Differences
Try to accept family and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to your expectations. Be understanding if others get upset when something goes awry.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
You may have lost someone close to you, or family may not be available this year. It is OK to feel sad. Take time to cry and express your feelings.
If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events. Volunteering time to help others is a good way to lift spirits and broaden friendships.
Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, and visiting friends. Plan your menus and shopping lists. A little planning prevents last minute scrambles. Don’t forget to plan for extra help with set-up, serving, and clean-up for parties.
Stick to a Budget
Before you go shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend and stick to it. Don’t try to buy happiness. At best, it will only last until you open the credit card statement in January.
Learn to Say No
Saying “yes” when you should say “no” leaves you feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Friends and colleagues will understand that you cannot participate in everything. Be understanding when your friends and colleagues say no, too.
Maintain Healthy Habits
Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
Take a Breather
Make time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you. Take a walk or listen to soothing music, whatever reduces stress and restores your inner calm.
Practice a Random Act of Kindness
When you are out shopping or even just waiting for someone, look for opportunities to do something nice for someone else. Hold a door, catch a shopping cart, or help load stuff into a car. It only takes a minute and you will brighten someone’s day.
Seek Professional Help If You Need It
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still feel sad or anxious, hopeless, unable to sleep, or unable to face routine tasks. If this lasts for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
We wish you a safe & healthy holiday season!