6 Tips for Overcoming Holiday Anxiety and Stress
It is known that a stable routine can reduce psychological problems like anxiety. Our daily schedule is safe and predictable. The end of the year involves an unavoidable change of routine. While we may look forward to the change, it can also cause us to feel unsafe and overwhelmed.
These six tips may help lower your stress levels during the holidays:
- Plan ahead
Create a list of people you would like to buy gifts for, and some ideas you have for them. Look up some fun recipes for meals or baking that you want to try this year. Have fun with it, too – pick up some decorations to get yourself in the spirit ahead of time!
- Stick to a budget
Decide what you want to spend over Christmas and stick to your budget to avoid anxiety over money. If your family and/ or friends are up for it, secret Santa (a draw) can also reduce anxiety by avoiding last-minute shopping and the need to find the ‘right gift’.
- Stay Social
Surround yourself with people you like. If being around your relatives provides stress, keep family gatherings to a minimum and celebrate with friends who you can just be yourself with.
- Learn to say no
You don’t have to attend every social occasion you’re invited to. It’s okay to put yourself first and balance what’s important to you this season. Make a list and prioritize your needs for the month or week ahead to ensure you’re taking care of (and enjoying) yourself.
- Don’t abandon healthy habits
It’s important to maintain some of your healthy habits. You may not feel like it, but there’s a lot of evidence that exercise can help with anxiety and depression. It will be worth cutting back on some of the ‘holiday hangover’.
- Take a breather
Take time to do things you want to do, rather than things you feel you have to do. When you feel overwhelmed, go for a walk, have a bath, or take that little break to spend some time with you.