The holiday season is here, and that means excitement but also unwanted stress!
I do enjoy the holiday season but just like anyone else, I can feel the stress mount up. There's the stress of what to buy, all the shopping, wrapping, and cooking, and then of course there are the uncomfortable conversations with friends and family you may not see eye to eye with. Just know you are not alone if you are feeling crazy energy! It is also important to know that you can have two feelings at the same time. You can be super grateful for all the love around you but also feel you need space. That does not make you a bad person but intuitive and human. Below is a list of helpful coping strategies to put into use ASAP.
Learn your triggers If you are someone who gets overwhelmed easily then I suggest planning things in your calendar to make sure you get them done in an appropriate amount of time. For example, if you tend to wait until the last minute to purchase gifts and wrap them then this year try to schedule out times in your calendar to hold yourself accountable. Or if you know you are someone who needs space at large gatherings then work in tiny breaks throughout the day/night. The important thing is to think of what things actually trigger you around this time of year and find solutions to make your life easier.
Call in a friend If you absolutely dislike shopping, cooking, wrapping, etc, call in a friend. I don't know about you, but most things are usually better with a friend. They will most likely have a similar to-do list so don't be afraid to ask.
Set boundaries When you know your anxiety is already on alert it is vital to set boundaries. Don't say yes to every invitation that comes your way. Unless it's a Hell Yes, meaning you feel that 'yes' down to your toes then really consider whether you want to expend more energy, especially if it's to please someone else. If your tank is becoming depleted, you are your number one priority.
Stick to your normal health routines This one may not be as easy because of all the different events, food, and excitement going on but if you can stay close to your normal routine you won't have to make a huge adjustment when the holidays are over. Make time for your movement, healthy eating, and good sleep patterns.
Put your phone down Social media is not doing you any favors when you are feeling overwhelmed. Unplug and disconnect so you can link up with what truly matters for your wellness.
Sentimental gifts Finances are a lead contributor to stress this time of year. We feel we have to do bigger and better than the year before. Let's start changing that narrative to a storyline that involves creativity and feeling. There are so many endless gifts you can give that mean way more than the newest gadget. You could write a letter to a loved one, make a craft, or even baked goods.
Set aside differences Try to accept family and friends as they are. We all have people in our lives that have extremely different opinions and that's perfectly okay. We have all had different experiences growing up which makes our thoughts and opinions our own. Go to the gatherings with grace knowing that they too may be having a stressful time.
Be realistic Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or others will only end in frustration. We fantasize about how the whole month should go and how people should act but none of us have that power so we have to let go of control and just be. Allow yourself to be present and go with the flow.