Stress Relief Tips For the Holidays
Over the last few weeks I’ve provided some ideas each week to help you manage holiday stress. You can check out all 30 tips or the weekly break down for those who like to take in information in smaller doses. This final week I’m sharing some things to help you reground yourself so that you can feel more at ease, even in the face of stress and anxiety!
Before you blow-up when stressed or anxious, pause before reacting.
Slow down your breathing. Take the time to think about what you want to say before you say it. You can then respond, instead of react.
Acknowledge that holidays can be SUPER stressful.
Allow yourself to feel the frustration, or anger, or whatever it is you’re feeling. Feeling your feelings, instead of pushing them away, can be very liberating.
Be mindful that every family has issues.
Know that your family’s stuff, whatever it might be, will not disappear just because it’s a holiday.
Allow yourself to defy tradition.
Before you cave in to the pressure of “we’ve always made 6 dozen assorted cookies,” ask yourself if that’s really how you want to do it or if there’s a simpler, less stressful alternative.
Try to de-stress while traveling.
If you’re driving, instead of getting angry about the traffic, take the time have a conversation with your traveling companion, play a travel game with your kids, or listen to your favorite podcast, audio book or playlist. Whatever your mode of travel, try to `enjoy the journey.
Manage your negative self-talk.
If you find you’re constantly reminding yourself of all the mistakes you’ve made, try a little self-compassion. It goes like this, “Yup, I could have done that better, but it’s OK. I made a mistake, but everyone makes mistakes, and I’m human.”
Communicate with those you love and care for.
Telling someone you love them and feeling the love from them can be very nourishing.
Each day, think of one thing you are grateful for and share it with a friend.
Feeling gratitude can improve your mood if you’re feeling down, especially when you share your gratitude with others.
Get a hug(s) each day.
Hug your friend, your family, your partner, your therapist or your pet. If you live alone, you can hug yourself!
Whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! If you’re worrying a lot about what’s next and you think that you might need some support as we enter the new year please call or email me to see if counseling might help you, help yourself.
Elizabeth Cush, MA, LGPC is a therapist and the owner of Progression Counseling in Annapolis, Md. She helps busy, overwhelmed men and women manage their anxiety and stress so they can live their lives with more ease, contentment and purpose.