The holidays are when people are generally more stressed out than usual. There are many demands of the season, such as shopping, running errands, attending holiday parties, and hosting relatives. These can all be potential sources of stress.
Additionally, feelings of loneliness and isolation are common around the holidays. Seasonal affective disorder increases the likelihood of negative thoughts. All of these factors can contribute to a person’s emotional health concerns.
It’s okay to feel a range of emotions during the holiday season, including loneliness and depression. You can prepare for the holidays by following a few helpful tips.
1. Do Less
The holiday season is when people are more likely to overcommit themselves. If you find yourself with too many commitments, try to focus on what is most important to you and say no to other demands on your time.
It’s okay for your traditions to change over time. You can create new traditions to fit your family and friends’ evolving lifestyle. If a ritual causes too much stress, you can create a new one.
2. Make Small Adjustments
The holiday season is when many people focus on changing their lives. However, this can be a stressful time for some. To help reduce stress, taking time away from your mobile phone and other electronic devices is important. This will give you some time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.
One way to make the holiday season more enjoyable is to listen to your favourite music. This can help you relax and add more spice to your cooking, both of which are associated with triggering endorphins. Making small adjustments like this can help improve your holiday experience without major changes to your routine.
3. Maintain Your Healthy Habits
The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people. To help keep stress at bay, maintain healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active.
Keep your same routine even when things are hectic. For example, if you usually work out in the morning, try to fit in a workout even if you have many holiday errands. Or, if you have a weekly book club, try to make time for that, even if you’re travelling. Don’t let the holidays throw off your whole life—try to keep things as normal as possible.
4. Have Realistic Responsibilities
The holiday season can be overwhelming with all of the events and responsibilities. To help manage the stress, list what you are responsible for and what others expect from you. This will help you to see what you need to do and when you need to do it. Remember that you don’t have to do everything; it doesn’t all have to be perfect.
Christmas can be a tough time for people struggling with mental health. It’s important to accept that you may feel sad or lonely and keep up with your usual emotional health habits. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your mental health professional about handling everything on your plate.
It is important to be mindful of your stress levels during the holiday season. You can do a few simple things to keep your stress in check to ensure a happy and stress-free holiday season.
At Virtuous Circle Counselling in Calgary, we know mental health is important, and we provide individual therapy and couples therapy by our registered psychologists and experienced counsellors. Our services are accessible with extended hours to offer in-person sessions, online therapy, phone counselling and walk and talk therapy. So if you need counselling services in Calgary, get in touch with us today!