There’s so much to do at this time of the year, that it’s easy for us to feel overwhelmed by it and let anger, frustration and stress begin to build. Our body’s’ normal response is a quickening of the heart rate and a rise in blood pressure. Stress can weaken the immune system, meaning cold, flu and other illnesses are more likely to set in. Persons already dealing with anxiety or depression are also at risk of having their symptoms worsened.
The development and practice of coping skills is essential at this time of the year. Here are a few suggestions that you may try to implement so that you have a meaningful, joyous and stress free season.
Learn To Say No – To Others and To Yourself
Prepare a budget for your holiday spending and do not exceed it. You don’t have to overspend on gifts, trying to buy something for each person. Try a card – store bought or self-made and include a short message if possible. Make small thoughtful gifts instead of splurging on big expensive ones that you can’t afford.
Sure, the holidays are meant to be spent with those you love and feel close to, but there must be time set aside for you. When it comes to gatherings and parties, set a definite number as your limit. That way you won’t end up accepting every invitation you receive. Prioritize, so you select the functions you need to attend and send sincere apologies for having to miss the others.
Forget traditions and take a serious look at the holiday practices you struggle to keep up. Decide which one are not worth the mental, emotional and physical effort they demand. Start new, more manageable traditions that surround the most important things and people in your life.
Learn To Say Yes – Do Not Hesitate to Accept Help
Lean on others for support. A network of close friends and family members can help you keep things in perspective. Accept help as it is offered and do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
One good way to put things into perspective is to volunteer some of your time and energy to worthy causes. It takes the focus off you and your holiday anxieties. Instead you benefit from knowing you are making a difference and doing something that matters.
Assign One Hour for Yourself
Overall, don’t be hard on yourself, thinking you have to keep up with all the extra demands on your time, money, and energy. Acknowledge and accept your limits, then enjoy the season within them.