Do the holidays not seem to be as magical as they once were? Do you feel more dread than joy as you watch the holiday decorations and festivities make their re-appearance?
It is no secret that the holiday season can be both a happy and overwhelming time for everyone. However, they can be more overwhelming and difficult for those who are struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and grief.
In preparation for the holiday season, we want to give you five tips to help you avoid holiday burnout so you can be more present and engaged with the ones you love.
Tip #1: You Can Say No
It is important to be realistic in the expectations you have for yourself and others in periods of increased stress. The holidays can demand more time and money than we may really have to offer. Though it is uncomfortable, it is okay to say no and set limits on what you can/are willing to do. It is okay if you cannot realistically attend the three holiday parties you were invited to or buy a present for every house in your neighborhood.
Tip #2: Take Breaks
Having more on your holiday to-do list and a jam-packed schedule full of holiday activities naturally steals away from downtime. Be intentional about scheduling some breaks, even if it is just to watch your favorite Christmas movie.
Time with family also increases during the holiday season. While this is a fun time to reconnect with those we may not see often, it can result in conflict and boundary violations. When anxiety or frustration may start to rise, take a ten-to-fifteen-minute break or walk outside to regulate.
Tip #3: Create/Maintain Traditions
Family and personal traditions bring a lot of excitement and meaning to the holiday season. Prioritizing meaningful traditions can help you in building connections and bring you closer to the ones you love. Choose to create and maintain traditions that spark joy and excitement within you. They will likely create memories that you will lovingly reflect on even when the season is over.
Tip #4: Take Care of Yourself
As the stress of the holiday season increases, self-care can quickly decrease. Staying emotionally regulated and completing the tasks and demands of the season are going to feel impossible if you are not fully rested, providing your body with the nutrition it needs, and staying hydrated. Even taking time to exercise thirty minutes a day, can help in improving mood, increasing motivation, and decreasing potential holiday weight gain.
Tip #5: Ask for Help
The holidays are more enjoyable when surrounded by the ones you love. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask those around you for help. We do not have to do things alone and often there is someone that is ready and willing to help; we just have to ask. The professionals at Connections Family Wellness are also here to help you in managing your holiday blues.
For additional information, you can contact us at (801) 871-5118.
We wish you a happy holiday season!