There is nothing more joyous than spending time with family and friends during the holiday season. But unwelcome guests — stress and depression, can cause the holiday blues. As the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to negatively impact our plans and activities this year, it can be difficult to keep a positive attitude and stay safe. This time of year can be lonely for those who are unable to see their family or friends. But, even when you are with people you love, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve can be challenging. We are always busy with the pursuit of perfect gifts, travel arrangements, never-ending parties, and obligations to our families.
There is a lot of stress associated with these events. With a few tips on how to cope, you can reduce the stress of the holidays and even manage to enjoy them.
Jingle off those holiday blues!
Take time for yourself
There is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself first. Write down your plans for this holiday season, and what you hope to accomplish in the new year. Find happiness in the little things. Enjoy holiday shopping, take some time to pamper yourself and relax if you can. Turn on the Christmas music and enjoy the bright lights around you. Live in gratitude and embrace everything that is good in your life and in the world around you.
Set realistic expectations
Staying positive requires managing your expectations. Remember that restrictions are placed all over the world, and things are not as they once were. Your family may be across the table, on a video call or you may be sending well wishes across the country. Take a moment to give yourself and those around you a little grace – it can be tricky to balance staying safe and getting into the holiday spirit. We often envision the holidays in our heads, which can lead to dangerous expectations. You don’t need a perfect holiday to make it special.
Stick to your budget
When you are already stressed and overwhelmed, the last thing you need is another financial problem. Getting gifts filled with surprises and wrapped in love is the essence of Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that you must go over your budget and cause financial strain. Identify how much you can spend before you make the shopping list. A special gift does not need to be the most expensive, the biggest, or even in the same budget as those around you. You can show love and care with small gestures, such as handmade, crafted gifts.
Don’t be afraid to say no
By saying yes when you shouldn’t, you can find yourself feeling resentful and overburdened. Stop the habit of “yes-ing”. Many of us still cling to inherited traditions even when they no longer fit into our busy schedules. Helping a neighbour or doing something positive for the community can be very fulfilling when it’s for the people we care about. However, conflicts tend to arise when we engage in actions that please everyone but ourselves or when we do things for which we feel unmotivated.
Put aside differences
Even if your family and friends don’t meet all your expectations, try to accept them as they are. It is likely that you are not the only person feeling the holiday blues in the room. Many people feel the stress of the season when they are under pressure. If you are grieving or facing loss, gently remind yourself that circumstances can change, and traditions change along with them. The holidays are all about being around those you love. Make new happy memories with your loved ones, spend time laughing, bonding, and having fun together.
No matter how hard you try, you may feel permanently depressed or anxious. You should talk to a mental health professional or your doctor if you have physical complaints, insomnia, feelings of hopelessness, or difficulty performing routine tasks.
Take control of your holiday season!
Even though this year’s holiday season may not be as festive as others in the past, you can still make it merry and special by prioritizing your mental health. As soon as you recognize the causes of your seasonal sadness, you can start taking action to control these triggers before they interfere with your happiness. Peace and joy during the holidays can as well be found with just a little planning and positive thinking.
From the MedEZ Family to You, Happy and Healthy Holidays!
Written by Marina Malobabic for www.MedEZ.com