The holiday season is known as the most wonderful time of the year, however, for some people, it can be the most stressful time of the year. It may feel like everyone around you is blissfully enjoying the holiday while you are struggling with your mental health, but just know you are not alone. Below are some helpful tips on how to cope with the stress that comes with the holiday season.
Think in “Day-Tight” Containers
Write your holiday-related concerns on a piece of paper and put it into a box/container with a sealable lid. Once you’re done writing down your concerns and putting them in a box, pull out the worries one by one and look at them. Take this time to really look at them, consider your feelings and allow yourself to feel your emotions fully. One you’ve gone through all the concerns, put them back in the box and put a cover on top. You may look at them again tomorrow, but for today, they are put away.
Talk it Out
Express your feelings, both negative and positive, during this time of year. Being open about it and talking it through normalizes the feelings and may help you relieve some of your pent-up stress. Although this may seem taboo due to the general societal expectations about how you’re “supposed to feel” during this time of year, you may find that you are not alone in the way you feel, and this may bring you some comfort.
Take Time for Yourself
This is important all year round, but it can be hard to focus on yourself during this hectic season. Make sure you are not overscheduling yourself or putting too many expectations on the holidays.
Celebrate Past Traditions or Create New Ones
For those who have dealt with a loss in their family that makes the holidays difficult, there are two possible ways to cope with the stress this causes. One way to cope is by creating new traditions with their remaining family and another way is carrying out the traditions that their late loved one enjoyed. Whichever way you choose to approach the situation is up to you and your family’s discretion. You should do whichever makes you and your family the most comfortable during this season.
We hope that these tips will help you cope with your holiday-related stress. It may feel like you are the only person in the world who is not 100% happy during the holidays, but this is not true. With the proper tools and strategies for coping with stress, you may find yourself enjoying the holiday season more than you expected.
Learn about our Sage Certified Clinicians™ who work with our students struggling with anxiety and depression and provide them with the tools they need to succeed despite their obstacles.