The holidays can be a time of joy and celebration spent with family and friends, but they can also cause feelings of stress, loneliness and sadness.
Below are some tips for managing stress around the holidays.
- Exercise: Exercise gets our blood flowing and helps us to stay in the present moment. Any kind of movement (stretching, walking or hitting the gym) can help to reduce stress.
- Try Meditation: Take time to sit quietly even if it’s for five minutes. Get in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders, simply refocus on your breath, observing the flow of inhalation and exhalation.
- Stay Connected: Instead of texting, connect with trusted friends in person or on the phone. Allow yourself to be authentic and share your feelings. Connection and vulnerability are two of the most important strengths a person can learn and practice.
- Manage your Expectations: Many times we have overly high expectations around the holiday and then end up feeling disappointed. Take time to reflect on what you value most and make time for that. Although we may be fooled by all the “picture perfect” holiday cards we receive, perfection does not exist. Honor your imperfections, try new things and allow yourself to be perfectly imperfect!
- Self Care: Sometimes we get so busy tending to everyone else this time of year that we forget to tend to ourselves. Slow down and be sure to do the things that energize you and limit the things that drain your energy.
- Limit Screen Time: We are bombarded by picture perfect moments on social media which can result in comparing ourselves to others and not measuring up. Things aren’t always what they seem and comparing yourself to others is a sure way to cause feelings of inadequacy. Remember, we are all more similar than we are different.
- Acts of Kindness: Doing for others has been proven to be good for elevating your mood and spirit. Whether it be a stranger, a family member or friend, go out of your way to do or say something kind.
- Breathing and Humor: Always remember to breathe and find reasons to laugh.
Have a safe and peaceful holiday season,
The Team at Mental Health Collaborative