Research has proven that holiday season stress can feel insurmountable and no one seems to be immune.
The stress of the holidays can feel never-ending. Just when you are done cramming the Thanksgiving leftover into every piece of Tupperware you own, the clock strikes midnight and the holiday season ramps up yet another notch!
For most of us, this scene plays out the same way every year. What’s different this year is more people than ever are seriously talking about how to reclaim a little sanity and make the month of December one of joy and peace, or at least more enjoyable!
Here are five tips from mental health professionals on how to better deal with the stress as the year winds down.
1) It’s okay to feel stressed around the holidays
In fact, it’s completely and utterly normal. If you told me that the season didn’t put you a little on edge in one way or another, I would wonder what kind of rock you’d been living under, and if there is room me there too? Okay, just kidding… kind of.
2) Practice mindfulness and “active noticing”
It’s a concept so ubiquitous that it’s almost lost its meaning. But mindfulness, says social psychologist Ellen Langer, is more than just a yoga class and watching the sunrise.
“Mindfulness is often described as the ability to be in the moment,” says Langer. She says that daily meditation can help you to become more mindful in your daily life, but meditation isn’t the only way.
When we travel to a new place, we’re noticing everything. “We don’t have to try,” she said, “since we are already expecting to see new things, we are in a state of active noticing.”
Practicing mindfulness can improve your personal relationships, invigorate your work in new ways, and benefit your mental health. You might be surprised at how much evidence there is to support mindfulness as a healthy part of daily life. Even the tech industry has gotten on board, creating a number of apps that can help you get started.
3) Set a realistic gift buying budget
With holiday sales and special seasonal promotions, it’s easy to fall prey to the sense of heightened commercialization. But personal finance guru Maurie Backman strongly advises against spending outside your means.
“The moment you charge something you can’t afford to pay off,” she warns, “you’ll be signing up to incur interest charges”. Be strategic in your spending, and don’t take on a higher credit card balance than you can afford. With any luck, you’ll go into 2018 feeling financially confident and free of overspending regrets.
4) Identify what is stressful and outsource
What part of the holidays stresses you out the most? Is it the shopping? The family obligations? The hosting? The 24-hour nonstop Christmas carols? Figure out what it is, and make a plan to minimize its impact.
Shop online, or tackle your shopping earlier in the year, away from the crowds. Maybe your spouse loves the thrill of buying gifts – outsource the task to them and take something off their hands in return.
5) Go easy on yourself!
The perfect holidays we see depicted in movies and commercials are fantasies, and have no bearing on real life. Take some time for yourself. Identify the parts of the holidays that bring you the most joy, and redefine your goals accordingly.
Try to keep the stress of holiday planning and commitments to a comfortable level. For more tips, here’s the HuffPo article and what these 11 therapists have to say about their own stress management during the holidays.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday! Read more and let me know what you think. Thaïs
Read the full article at: www.huffingtonpost.com
About Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi
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