10 tips for coping with Holiday
stress and depression.
The holiday season which has already begun
often brings stress and depression - don't let them
ruin your holidays... Plan ahead! Seek Support! It is
possible to reduce stress during the holidays by recognizing
some common holiday triggers. These 10 helpful holiday
coping tips were written by Mayo Clinic Staff.
- Holiday Triggers:
Learn to recognize common holiday triggers, so you
can disarm them before they lead to a meltdown:
- Relationships: Relationships can cause turmoil,
conflict or stress at any time, but tensions are often
heightened during the holidays. Family misunderstandings
and conflicts can intensify - especially if you're
thrust together for several days. On the other hand,
facing the holidays without a loved one can be tough
and leave you feeling lonely and sad.
- Finances: With the added expenses of gifts,
travel, food and entertainment, the holidays can put
a strain on your budget - and your peace of mind.
- Physical demands: Even die-hard holiday enthusiasts
may find that the extra shopping and socializing can
leave them wiped out. Being exhausted increases your
stress, creating a vicious cycle. Exercise and sleep
- good antidotes for stress and fatigue - may take
a back seat to chores and errands.
- Set aside differences: Try to accept family
members and friends as they are, even if they don't
live up to all your expectations. Set aside grievances
until a more appropriate time for discussion. And
be understanding if others get upset or distressed
when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling
the effects of holiday stress and depression too.
- Stick to a budget: Before you go gift and
food shopping, decide how much money you can afford
to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to
buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these
alternatives: Donate to a charity in someone's name,
give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.
- Plan ahead: Set aside specific days for shopping,
baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan
your menus and then make your shopping list.
- Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should
say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't
participate in every project or activity.
- Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the
holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only
adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack
before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard
on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty
of sleep and physical activity.
- Take a breather. Make some time for yourself.
Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions,
may refresh you enough to handle everything you need
to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to
soothing music. Find something that reduces stress
by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and
restoring inner calm.
- Seek professional help if you need it. Despite
your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently
sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable
to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face
routine chores. If these feelings last for a while,
talk to your doctor or a mental health professional
WE AT COMMUNITY INSTITUTE FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY ARE HERE
TO SUPPORT YOU THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS, CALL US FOR EXTRA
SUPPORT FOR YOURSELF, YOUR COUPLE, AND/OR YOUR FAMILY.