Peppermint mochas have now officially surpassed pumpkin spice lattes. There’s no denying it – the holiday season is upon us! As always, most of us can expect a busy season of friends, family, parties, shopping, decorating, cooking, baking, entertaining and so forth. And let’s not forget about that controversial elf. Needless to say, the holidays are packed with extras. For a growing number of people, these extras are becoming more difficult to manage and they can cause our anxiety levels to increase. So what do we do? How do we find peace from our anxiety during one of the most anxiety-provoking times of the year? Here are some useful tips on how to temper anxiety during the holidays:
1) Take a social media break. Holiday time brings out the most picturesque social media posts. So many people looking well put together, organized and happy. Intellectually, we know that social media posts are notorious for showing only the ideal and often lack truth. Emotionally though, it is challenging for us not to compare ourselves to others. Limit the amount of time you are tempted to compare yourself to false ideals.
2) Give yourself permission to say “no”. We cannot possibly do it all. If we try, we risk burn out. Therefore, choices need to be made. Say no to parties you are not wanting to attend. Say no to organizing your work place holiday social. Say no to hosting if you are too busy. Say no to baking homemade treats for your child’s class party. Say no to the elf! Choose your priorities and commit to them while you let go of the rest.
3) Create lists. Things can quickly become overwhelming, with so many extra tasks needing to be completed. Write lists, prioritize, and use your calendar to help schedule things in. As you go, cross things off that list. Such a satisfying feeling!
4) Delegate. You don’t need to do this all by yourself! Call a family meeting. Delegate tasks. Perhaps someone else can bake a batch of cookies, pick up that gift certificate for your mom or clean the family room for the company that is arriving.
5) Take shortcuts. No time to bake cupcakes for your child’s class party? Buy them. No time to think of/shop for the perfect gift? Pick up a gift certificate. No time to bake for the neighbours? Purchase cookies from a local vendor. Pare down on decorations, baking, visiting and shopping. When you must shop, try earlier in the season/earlier in the morning/later in the evening/shop online. Avoiding the crowds and the disappointment of sold-out items can greatly reduce stress.
6) Practice self-care! Drink water. Sleep. Read. Go for a walk. Take a bath. Stretch your muscles. Paint a picture. Do a puzzle. Enjoy a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Go out for coffee with a close friend. Meditate. Visualize. Sit by the fire. At least a few days a week, press pause, take a break from your computer/phone/tv and take care of yourself the old fashioned way.
7) If you find that your anxiety levels are too high to manage and you are wanting some extra support, see your physician or book an appointment with a counsellor. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health!
We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves at this time of year. The quest for the perfect holiday season, the fear of not wanting to disappoint and the need to keep up can cause too much anxiety. By being more mindful about setting limits and caring for ourselves, we can look forward to a more peaceful, enjoyable holiday season.
Written By Leilah Stella. For More Info On Her Click Here