Engaging in holiday festivities is part of the fun when enjoying this time of year. For many people, however, the holidays prove to be a massive source of stress for a variety of reasons. Gift buying, what to bring to the holiday party, and dealing with the highs and lows of family life are just some of the stressors that keep many people from enjoying the best of what the holidays can bring. And for anyone who suffers from anxiety, the holidays can present an especially difficult time of the year.
If you have anxiety, you don’t have to suffer alone. Help soothe your frazzled nerves by keeping these tips in mind to acquire peace this holiday season.
Never Bite More Than You Can Chew
While there are benefits to having a go-getter attitude, there are drawbacks, too. For those who tend to overload themselves, the risks for high blood pressure or illness can increase, according to life coach and educator, Lianne Raymond. If tasks are overloading you, then it’s a good idea to step back and assess what’s important. Perhaps you can get to holiday shopping months in advance as a means to beat the crowds and avoid unnecessary stress. Or maybe you opt for different traditions or delegate holiday responsibilities to others in the family. By prioritizing your tasks you can avoid getting bogged down with to-do lists at the last minute.
Listen to Your Feelings
Despite all that cheer, the holidays can be the most stressful time of the year, according to The Odyssey. With so many expectations to meet, it’s no wonder so many people go into a panic during the season. It’s important to remember that it’s actually okay if you don’t want to get into the holiday spirit, especially if you’re not feeling up to the task. If a loved one has died or you’re just feeling down in the dumps, take a timeout to express how you feel because it isn’t possible to be happy all the time.
If you tend to get lonely this time of year, try reaching out to others, so that you gain a sense of community. Volunteering, social clubs, and religious groups are all great ways to make new friends and increase joy in your life. Even if you are unable to socialize much this season, try calling family and friends or plan activities alone that you would typically do with others as a way to avoid feelings of isolation and depression.
Additionally, spending time with your pet has its advantages, particularly if you own a dog. Enjoying animal companionship can help decrease feelings of anxiety, relax you, reduce blood pressure and provide those much-needed feelings of love and warmth, especially when you’re feeling lonesome. Having a dog is also a perfect excuse to get some exercise. Regular dog walking benefit you and your pooch!
Acceptance Is Key
We all have our quirks that make us who we are. With that, you can’t change how people treat you or what they do to you, but you can change how you react and interact. Even if you had the perfect holiday in mind, it’s essential to grow and change with the flow because things don’t always go according to plan. If you’ve become estranged from a family member, maybe it’s time to put aside differences and accept them as they are because they might be stressed out, too.
Just Say “No”
Despite the fear of upsetting someone, learning to say “no” can make you happier and relieve stress. Set boundaries with the knowledge that you don’t owe anyone anything because you are the only one who can identify what you need in your life. It’s okay to say “no” if fulfilling a request will delay your own goals. Saying “yes” when you mean “no” can lead to dissatisfaction in the long run. If for whatever reason you can’t say “no” to a particular request, try scratching something off your to-do list so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
Decreasing stress all boils down to increasing joy in your life. Whether you choose to spend the holidays alone, or in the company of others, keep the pressure down by incorporating these tips into your routine this holiday season.