While the holidays offer good food and merrymaking, they also bring increased stress levels. 62% of people report elevated stress levels during the holidays, in addition to moments of joy and celebration. Our online therapists at HomePsych have tips to help you move through the holidays with self-compassion, grit, and whatever else you need to feel less alone.
Holiday Tip #1 – Acknowledge the reality
It can be tempting to ignore the stress, especially with the expectations around the holidays. But you may find relief by acknowledging how the holidays encompass a wide range of emotions.
Expectations for merry family time are reinforced by popular movies. On top of that, skillful advertising might make you feel like something is “wrong with you” if you are not feeling elevated levels of joy and bliss during the holidays.
During the holidays, millions of people stress over financial demands, difficult family dynamics, lack of usual routine, and planning gatherings; it makes sense if you feel stress over these changes.
Holiday Tip #2 – Plan activities that give you relief
Whether you are planning to spend the holidays by yourself, with a significant other, or with family, you probably have some “have-to-do” errands and family activities on your list. If you find yourself busy, remember to take a breath and also plan activities you enjoy.
For example, many people report that exercise gives them time to reflect, move their bodies, and connect with themselves. If your exercise routine needs to pause during the busier holiday schedule, why not plan an occasional evening walk or morning stretching session?
What activities do you enjoy? Be sure to incorporate them into your holidays, wherever you are. Or, refer to tip #1 and acknowledge that balance can be hard when you do not have your usual stress-relieving activities available.
Holiday Tip #3 – Get outside, if you can
There are so many benefits to spending time outside, preferably in nature, if possible. Just walking or sitting outside can increase your endorphin levels and increase feelings of calmness. Chances are that other people around you would also benefit from walks and local outdoor explorations.
Is there a neighborhood park you can visit or perhaps any outdoor area that feels safe? Even 15–30 minutes a day outside can bring relief and joy to your day. It’s worth exploring, even though it may require extra logistics during the winter months.
Remember, you deserve to feel good
While the holidays come and go each year, sometimes feelings of anxiety and depression linger. At HomePsych, our online therapists are here to simplify online therapy and make it easy for you to receive the care you need. Request an appointment to begin.