The holiday season has started, and for some, the chaos of it all can breed major anxiety. There are so many things to do, so many places to go, and so many people to spend time with. It can get hectic, and this year is especially stressful due to the pandemic. This season can be the most wonderful time of the year and with all of the wonderful things going on, you don’t want to take your focus off of what matters most. That’s why it’s important to have ways to deal with your anxiety during this time.
Here are 7 tips for dealing with stress and anxiety during the holidays.
Write it All Down
When you have so many commitments, responsibilities, things to keep track of, and everything else, your brain can easily end up feeling burned out. So, get it all out of your head! All you have to do is grab a piece of paper and write down everything that’s on your mind. Once everything is out of your head and down on paper, you should feel clearer headed and less overwhelmed.
Now, with everything out of your head, it’s time to get things organized. Write a list of everything you need to do, dishes you need to make, where you have to be, things you need to buy, and everything else. Getting a planner to keep track of everything is a good idea. This can drastically reduce the amount of overwhelm you’re feeling.
If you have intrusive or toxic family members/friends, it’s important that you set boundaries with them. Whether you don’t want to talk about certain topics, don’t want to have people staying overnight at your house, or something else. Make sure that they respect these boundaries, and don’t feel guilty about it. Your mental well-being is important and they should understand that.
Avoid the Overwhelm
If you’re hosting the holidays at your place, don’t feel like you have to do everything by yourself. Ask everyone to bring a dish with them so you don’t have to cook everything. If you have a spouse or kids, ask them to help you clean. If there’s anything else you need help with, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone.
If things get to be too much, have a plan that allows you to leave. Or if you have a spouse, let them know that you want to leave right after dessert. Or if you don’t want to leave, have a plan to step outside or into a quiet room for a breather if you need one. Plan these things out so you know what to do if the time comes.
Self-care is always important, but it’s especially important during overwhelming times like the holidays. Just because you have a lot of commitments doesn’t mean that you should forget about self-care, though. I know you might not think you have time for it, but there are many ways to make sure you’re prioritizing self-care during the holidays.
Lower Your Expectations
Perfectionism can be a big cause of anxiety. But no one's holidays are perfect. If you’re hosting a gathering at your house, don’t get too worked up about the little things – no one is expecting perfection. Don’t get too stressed out if something goes wrong. After all, what really matters during the holidays is the people that you’re spending it with. Which leads us to the next tip…
Pay Attention to What Matters
One thing that helps take holiday anxiety away from me is paying attention to what matters most. If you’re religious, this could mean focusing on the religious reasons behind the holiday you’re celebrating. It could mean focusing on your family and holiday traditions, or it could mean giving back and showing compassion to people. Whatever the holidays are about for you, focus on those positives. Embrace the joy of the season.
Enjoy a Place of Zen
When the holidays become overwhelming or stressful, sometimes the best thing to do is to take a few minutes to yourself to clear your mind to help manage your anxiety. One of the best ways to do this is by practicing mindful meditation. 10 minutes is all you need to find balance in your life.
If you’re new to mindful meditation or want to improve your current practice, we can help! Register today for the Mindful Connections course. There’s no better time to start a daily mindfulness practice.