While many associate the holiday season with friendly gatherings, laughter, and joy, the reality is that for a lot of us, this time of year is not necessarily calm and bright.
This season brings with it many unique stressors, which can compound to make us feel like we’re not the best version of ourselves.
During this holiday season, it is important to find ways to prioritize our well-being and manage all of the emotions that come with this time of year. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed in stressful situations, use these tips to manage your emotional wellness and keep your expectations in check:
- Give Yourself A Break:
For some, it is a relief to get a break from the routine. For others, breaks throughout the holiday season are just that: a break from the helpful structure of their everyday activities. Be sure to take time to reflect on your hopes and expectations for this time of year with the acknowledgment that there is no “right way” to feel.
- Create Healthy Boundaries With Social Media:
Social media is everywhere and can be a great connecting force. However, it can also perpetuate the image of the holiday season as an idyllic, perfect time of year with nothing to stress about. This isn’t reality – the holidays are not perfect for anyone. While it is a great time of year, know that there are many factors that can contribute to stress, including: family drama, missing loved ones, and everything in between.
- Keep it Simple:
Give yourself permission to opt-out of tasks or events that you don’t want to do. Try to keep things simple to protect your emotional well-being. If you aren’t in the mood for hosting or attending a party, suggest grabbing a cup of coffee with friends, or maybe try to go for a walk through a decorated part of town. Physical activity and a balanced diet are great stress management techniques and can do wonders for both your physical and mental health.
- Quality Over Quantity:
The holidays can be financially challenging. Don’t feel obligated to go on a spending spree to get everyone you know an expensive gift. Get creative – write a meaningful card, prioritize giving thoughtful gifts over expensive gifts, or simply spend some quality time with friends and family.
- Make time for yourself.
- Don’t overplan.
- Accept what you cannot change.
- Do your best.
The holiday season is about gratitude, joy, and reflection. This year, be sure to put a plan together to find ways to enjoy the present moment and reflect on all of the good things you have going for yourself. Try not to let the stress of the season impact your emotional health, and be sure to have a little grace with yourself and others when things get stressful.