Although the holiday season can be a time for joy, fun, and family, it is also common for people to feel overwhelmed or experience temporary anxiety, stress, or sadness. Learning how to recognize and manage these feelings and stressors is an integral part of your wintertime well-being. Below are three common holiday-related stressors and the best way to manage them:
Family and Social Pressures
Family visits and holiday parties can pack a punch in the seasonal anxiety department. From planning and hosting events to a packed social calendar, all the activities may cause you to feel overwhelmed during the holiday season.
Planning ahead for holiday parties and family visits can help you prepare for the event and may eliminate some stress. It is also important to avoid packing too many visits and social events into your schedule without allowing yourself any downtime. Most importantly be sure to you build in some time to recover after every event. Such as going home and relaxing with a good book, watching your favorite show, or other ways you enjoy to wind down.
Many people have unreasonable expectations of themselves — and others — during the holiday season. Remember that the holidays don’t have to be perfect to be fun and memorable.
Holiday routines and traditions can provide a sense of comfort along with pressures to keep them the same year after year. But although it may be difficult for you or others to cope with change, you should do your best to embrace it when necessary when things do not go exactly as planned.
Feelings of Sadness, Loneliness, or Loss
The holidays are not always the most joyful time for everyone. If you have experienced a recent traumatic event, family conflict, or loss of a loved one, the holidays can bring up sadness or loneliness regardless if it happened in the distant past.
It’s important to recognize that these feelings are normal, and it’s okay to not be okay. It’s also okay to express how you are feeling. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to feel happy all the time. Engaging in activities you enjoy and getting outside in the fresh air and sunlight may help to boost your mood. Participating in community events or helping others through volunteering may provide a way for you to socialize and give back.