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MANAGING STRESS OVER THE HOLIDAYS


The lights are twinkling, the music is jolly, and the Hallmark movie marathons have begun. For many, this sets the stage for hot cocoa-fueled reunions, meaningful conversations that heal old wounds, and creating new traditions that instill in us what the “true meaning” of the season is all about.


But for others plagued by loss, economic hardships, isolation, past holiday trauma, or mental health issues like anxiety, depression or PTSD, this time of year serves up distress alongside the eggnog.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Surveys by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reveal up to 60% of people report intensified sadness and stress during the December months. High hopes around money, gifting, travel, parties and family togetherness often clash with the sudden realities of life and the profound emotional or physical pain many secretly wrestle with daily.


Trying to duct tape on a façade of good cheer leaves many utterly exhausted by New Year’s Eve. And avoiding the holiday hype altogether by isolating only tends to worsen loneliness and disconnection.

HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS

So how can you mindfully minimize painful triggers or hard memories that surface this season? Consider the following self-care strategies for navigating holiday blues without losing sight of your inner light.


Tune Into Your Rhythms - Don’t let the holiday frenzy override your basic self-care needs like sufficient sleep, nutrition, hydration, and movement. Carve out downtime between social commitments to recharge emotional and physical reserves. Gentle physical and breathing exercises, or leisurely walks offer easy ways to calm the nervous system when overwhelmed.


Set Realistic Expectations - The perfectly staged holiday gatherings in movies set unrealistic standards. Accept that some sadness shadowing celebrations may be inevitable depending on your losses and hardships this past year. Setting modest expectations around budgets, events, and conversations can help buffer disappointment.


Embrace Supportive Community - If you have strained family relationships, lean more heavily into your chosen family of understanding friends. Attending community holiday meals at your church or civic centers, especially if finances are weighing you down. Studies show social connection is key to lifting moods.


Infuse Meaning In Simple Moments - In a mire of commercialism, create special rituals that uniquely speak to your values ​​and beliefs, whether volunteering at a shelter, saying nightly gratitude prayers or baking cookies to share. Small mindful acts weave significance into the season.


With intentional planning and respect for our limitations, the holidays can still spark beauty and belonging. Be gentle with yourself and others. Together we’ll ring in a new year full of hope.


Express Gratitude – Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and strengthen our immune system. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety and difficulties with chronic pain.

BOTTOM LINE

You can be in control of your mental and emotional wellbeing despite the extra stresses of the holidays. We are here to help and have access to some excellent mental and emotional health resources that we can recommend.


If you are struggling with friendships, watch this video on how to heal.


If you are thinking of, or in the middle of a divorce, we want you to know you're not alone and we’re here to help. If you would like to discuss how we can assist you with your future plans, please give me a call at 469-556-1185.   Geni Manning

If you are thinking of, or in the middle of a divorce, we want you to know you're not alone and we’re here to help. If you would like to discuss how we can assist you with your future plans, please give me a call at 469-556-1185.

Geni Manning


Disclaimer: The information provided in this website and our blogs is not intended for legal, financial or mental health advice but is for general informational purposes only. While we endeavor to provide the latest information on a particular subject, future changes to the source Information is beyond our control.

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