As we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow and then the ensuing Black Friday, Cyber Monday and hustle and bustle of the holiday season ahead, anxiety levels are surely rising. That stress along with the chaos of 2020 and we have a recipe for mental overload for the holiday season. Now is a good time to take a moment and plan for stress management for the remainder of the year.
- Set boundaries
Sometimes we feel like our schedules and spending are out of our control during the holiday season. But that is not the case. We have the power to limit of our plans, time spent at parties and events and most importantly our spending. You get to decide where every single dollar in your bank account goes and how every minute of your time is spent. Envision the holiday season you want and then make a plan and stick to it for the duration of the year.
- Avoid family conflict.
Families have the highest potential for conflict during the holidays. This year spend a little time preparing for potential conflict scenarios. If you have one or more family members that tend to rant or drink too much – have a solid plan on how to manage the situation and include an exit strategy.
- Say No.
If there was ever a year in which you should not feel bad about declining an event invitation, it’s 2020. Attending every cookie exchange or white elephant gathering is just not doable. Remember it is about quality time you spend with others and not the quantity of events you attend – especially in the current climate.
- Limit your time on social media.
If you are feeling stressed, limit your time on social media. Facebook and Instagram are havens for feeds of perfect and idyllic lives that are not real. The less time you spend looking at those phony photos the less anxiety you will feel about getting those holidays decorations hung and cookies in the oven.
- Get plenty of rest and stay healthy.
Did you know that the most powerful tool to reduce anxiety is sleep? When awake your brain’s emotional centers become overactive and anxiety levels increase. The best medicine this year is to skip the holiday movie binge each night and make sleep a priority. This will reduce your stress, as well as boost your immune system.
Along, with getting those much needed zzs, remember to keep up the hand washing this winter. This will keep you well and out of the doctor’s office during the holidays. Sprinkle in some time for immune and mood boosting activities like exercise and getting outdoors, and you will feel strong and healthy throughout the holidays.