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Tips to Reduce Stress Over the Holidays

With the holiday season comes celebrations, lots of food, and time with loved ones. However, all of these things can also bring stress-provoking situations like financial strain, travel challenges, family drama, and so on. As much as we plan, holiday demands and expectations can be stressful. With some purposeful intentions and preparation, you can alleviate some of this stress—or at least be better prepared to cope with it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while making plans for the holidays. 


Maintain healthy habits. You can certainly indulge in some holiday desserts but try not to forget to take the time to fit in some exercise and healthy eating. Exercise and a good diet help you feel good inside and out. 


Seek therapy. If you are grieving over the loss of a loved one or a relationship breakup, the holidays can be triggering. It’s hard to ask for help when everyone around you is so cheery. Consult your doctor about seeking therapy or perhaps medication to help with depression or mood swings. 


Setting boundaries with family. Before making plans, decide what your limits are around family and friends. Can you only handle three days at your sister’s house whose husband you don’t get along with? Agree to not bring up certain topics with family at the dinner table that are sure to cause tension or disagreement. Considering these things in advance will help you have a more peaceful holiday. 


Watch your wallet. During the holiday season, there are additional expenses for gifts, travel, entertainment, and more, that can increase financial stress. Before you start spending, establish a budget that you can realistically stick to so you don’t put yourself in a financial bind a month from now when the credit card bills start arriving. 


Journal. Journaling is a good way to release whatever is on your mind. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, writing your feelings down on paper can help you work through them. A bullet journal that is designed for quick entries may help encourage writing what you are grateful for, or putting together to-do lists. 


Learn to say no. Don’t feel obligated to accept every party invitation, cookie exchange, or gift swap. Trying to do too much can generate unnecessary anxiety.    


Stress can have a harmful impact on your well-being. If your efforts to avoid or reduce stress over the holidays aren’t working, because you are still feeling overwhelmed or anxious, please see a doctor to see what can be done for you either medically or mentally. Feel free to call our office at 307-643-5216.

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