The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people, it can also bring a lot of stress. From gift shopping and meal planning to family gatherings and travel, there are plenty of things that can make this time of year feel overwhelming. That's why it's important to take steps to manage your holiday stress and make the most of this special time. In this newsletter, we'll explore some common sources of holiday stress and offer tips and strategies for coping with them. Whether you're dealing with financial worries, social anxiety, or just feeling swamped by your to-do list, we hope you'll find some helpful advice here. So take a deep breath, relax, and let's get started!
The Dual Nature of the Holiday Season: A Time of Joy and Stress
The holiday season can bring feelings of celebration and excitement for many people, but for others, it can generate anxiety and stress. There are several reasons why this can occur, including:
Hectic shopping and buying gifts
Lots of tasks to complete with limited time
Family conflicts that arise and need to be resolved
Struggling with the expectations of others, society, and yourself
Coping with grief and loss
Feeling let down and disappointed
Comparing yourself to others and feeling low self-esteem
Suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Family situations causing uncomfort
And many more.
It's important to remember that everyone experiences the holiday season differently. Some people love the festivities and look forward to the holiday season all year long, while others find it overwhelming and stressful. It's completely normal to feel a range of emotions during this time, from excitement and joy to sadness and anxiety.
Tips to Help When Dealing with Emotions
If you're feeling stressed or anxious during the holiday season, it's important to take some time for yourself and practice some self-care. This might mean taking a break from social events, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or simply going for a stroll. Here are some tips to help when dealing with situations like this, with a range of emotions, although all of the emotions aren't listed, here are some most common ones:
If you're feeling stressed it could be because of having less time, too many responsibilities, higher expectations during the season, even family conflict, or more. Stress is normal, especially during the holiday season.
Practice deep breathing exercises, like Square breathing or Belly breathing.
If you're feeling anxious, it could be because of gift-giving, financial burdens, family dynamics, hosting a party or gathering, social situations/gatherings, past memories to live up to, or other reasons.
Identify the source of your anxiety and try to address it directly. This could involve seeking the help of a mental health professional or talking to a trusted friend or family member.
If you're feeling nervous, either for a social gathering, for traveling, family discussions, or anything else, first know that it’s OK to feel nervous.
Practice visualization and positive self-talk to help overcome the fear of the unknown, and even journal the emotions/thoughts.
If you're feeling lonely, it's important to know that that’s okay, and it just means you are feeling a lack of social time like your typical routine would include.
Reach out to friends or family members to spend time playing games or watching a movie. You can also organize a family game night, or friend move night, to make it more fun and bring people together.
If you're dealing with grief, it's important to know that the grieving process is unique to each individual and can take time.
Practice self-compassion and give yourself permission to grieve in your own way and on your own timeline.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's important to take a step back and assess what may be causing these feelings. Perhaps you have too many tasks on your plate or are dealing with a difficult situation. Holiday shopping can also cause this feeling.
Break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. You can make a to-do list, so all the thoughts aren’t floating around in your mind. Remember, it's okay to ask for help and delegate tasks if needed.
Here's a quick summary of the above for quick reference :)
Looking for a wider range of emotions, with more specific tips? Check out my "Emotion Cards: Unveiling the Power of Emotions One Card at a Time" Deck, and treat yourself or a family/friend with one! More info below :)
Remember, it's OKAY to not feel your 100% during the holidays. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, and know that you're not alone, and that there are support/resources to help.
Spreading the Love & Support
It's important to remember that we are all in this together, and sometimes a little bit of kindness can go a long way. If you notice a friend or family member is feeling down or under the weather, don't hesitate to check in on them. A simple phone call or text message can let them know that they are not alone and that you are there for them. It's also a good idea to look out for others in your community, especially those who may be vulnerable or in need of support. By working together and supporting one another, we can overcome any challenge that comes our way. Lastly, as you may have heard, self-care is not selfish, so be sure to spread the love to yourself!
Great Gift Ideas for Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season:
Looking for the perfect present to share with friends and family for the holiday season? Consider my Emotion Cards and Uplift Teens Today book! These gifts can help in the journey towards better mental health. Great thoughtful and kind gifts.
Emotion Cards: Unveiling the Power of Emotions, One Card at a Time Card Deck (avail. on Website).
Check out my FOX interview from this week if you'd like to see this newsletter in a video!
Conclusion & New Year
As we approach the end of the year, I want to take a moment to thank you for all your support throughout the year. I'm excited about the upcoming year and all its possibilities – it's hard to believe we're almost in 2024!
I'm also thrilled to share that my New Year newsletter is in the works and will be coming your way soon. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I hope these tips will help you enjoy a stress-free holiday season. Wishing you all the best!