The holidays can be an overwhelming time for many people, especially those who suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression. While it’s true that the holidays are a time for joy and happiness, for many, they are chalked full of stressors-- financial, personal, relationship, and family issues are often exacerbated during the holidays. Though the holidays are a great time to do for others, it is important to be aware of your own needs and to take care of yourself as well. The best gift you can give to yourself this holiday season is to learn how to manage your stress and anxiety before it strikes.
Below are some helpful tips to set yourself up for success.
- Learn to be realistic.Be realistic about expectations of others, but most importantly, for yourself. Take the pressure off of yourself by not taking on too much. If you have a problematic relationship with your parents, don’t expect to solve it all over a weekend – instead, just aim to make progress, and celebrate the small wins.
- Learn to say no.It is perfectly fine to say no. No one expects you to be able to do everything, and if you already feel that you are committing too much of yourself, there is nothing wrong with saying no.
- Make a budget. Take away that post-holiday stress by creating a budget early on and sticking to it. Remember that you cannot buy happiness, and that the thought behind a gift goes much further than the gift itself. You’ll definitely thank yourself for doing so in the new year!
- Don’t abandon self-care practices. Even if you are extremely busy, there is always time to practice self-care. Remember that if you let yourself become depleted, you will have far less to give others. Make sure that you stick to a routine-- practice your meditation, go to a yoga class, draw a bath for yourself every night, or do something else that you love to assure that you are creating and maintaining a healthy mindset.
- Reach out. Be kind to yourself and know when you need some extra help. Reach out to family or friends if you’ve got too much going on and need some support. It’s also important to recognize when you may need to reach out to a mental health professional. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we cannot do it all. Reaching out to a doctor or mental health professional is a great way to get extra support, learn coping strategies, and expand your support network.