Coping with Holiday Stress

6 Tips for Coping with Holiday Stress

No matter how you spend the holidays, they can be full of emotions. For many people, the holidays are a hard time. Whether you are cooking, cleaning, shopping, entertaining or feeling alone it can feel overwhelming. Due to COVID-19, many traditions and practices look different today than they did a few years ago. Feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress and/or anxiety may appear due to the change of plans.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize your stress and/or anxieties. Who knows, this year could be the year you start a new holiday tradition!

Here are 6 tips to cope with holiday stress.

Tip #1: Do what’s best for your household

The holidays can be hard. It’s okay to politely decline invitations to holiday parties. Your safety and peace of mind are important. Spending time with those in your household can bring you closer together. Ideas of quality time with those in your household include holiday activities such as watching holiday movies, baking cookies, making a gingerbread house, decorating your space, and playing in the snow.

Tip #2: Take care of yourself

Holiday self-care is more important than ever. Take care of yourself by staying active, eating your fruits and vegetables, and getting sufficient amounts of sleep. Take time out of your day to do something that makes you happy whether that be listening to your favorite song, cooking your favorite meal, or practicing your hobbies. Be kind to yourself this holiday season. You are resilient. You are doing the best you can.

Tip #3: Stay connected

During the holidays sometimes the greatest gift you can give is a listening ear. Phone a friend, or connect with a loved one this holiday season. You can also call a helpline if you need to talk to someone. Talking about what is on your mind can alleviate some of those feelings of stress and/or anxiety around the holidays.

Tip #4: Plan ahead

Plan out your days and times for holiday shopping, cooking, and connecting to reduce last-minute scrambling. Planning ahead also allows you to be proactive about your wellness. For your safety, consider online alternatives to in-store shopping.

Tip #5: Recognize your feelings

Although it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” it doesn’t always feel that way. Take a minute to acknowledge your emotions and feelings. It’s normal to feel lonely or sad during the holidays, perhaps thinking about loved ones you’ve lost or seeing pictures of others celebrating with their loved ones. It’s okay to take time to express your feelings or even cry. What you are feeling right now is valid. But know that you are not alone.

Tips #6: Reach out

With all things said, if you find yourself constantly overwhelmed with sadness, stress, and/or anxiety, Mental Health Partners is here for you. You can connect to an Outreach Worker or learn how to access care. Mental Health Partners is here for you during the holidays and throughout the year.