Managing Holiday Stress

Hiya blog followers!

merry-thanksgivoweenCan you believe November is already here?! As the sugar rush of Halloween winds down, the upcoming holiday scramble begins. While this season can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also become overwhelmingly stressful and maybe even depressing for some.

Here are some practical tips from the Mayo Clinic to help you minimize stress and manage those “holiday blues” over the next couple months:      

  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: If this time of year causes you to grieve the loss of loved ones, let yourself grieve. It is okay to feel sad, and it is okay to express those feelings. 
  2. Reach Out To Others: Seek community with family, friends, neighbors, etc. The companionship of others can help lift your spirits, and the support of loved ones can offer more positive coping strategies.  
  3. Be Realistic: Understand that things do not have to be perfect. If this year cannot look exactly like last year, be open to celebrating in new ways. Unrealistic expectations can cause added stress which can be avoided with the right mindset.
  4. Set Aside Differences: Be accepting of your loved ones and set aside your differences until there is a more appropriate time to address them. Most likely others are feeling the same stress as you during this time of year, and everyone can benefit from a little grace. 
  5. Stick To A Budget: Decide what fits and make it stick! Do not feel pressured to buy mounds of gifts. Perhaps you can have a family exchange to cut down on the number of gifts purchased. Maybe you can give homemade crafts, cards, or even a plate of cookies! You can also look for other ways to give such as volunteering at a local soup kitchen, food pantry, or clothing drive. i-am-stressed-mouse
  6. Plan Ahead: Decide ahead of time what activities are happening on what days. Think about the time it takes to travel or food prep or clean up the house, and make “to do” lists to keep you on task. Plan your menus ahead of time too and create your shopping list accordingly to avoid last minute trips to the store.  
  7. Say “No” If You Need To: As the calendar starts to fill up, be selective about what you say “yes” to, and be comfortable saying “no” when you need to. Avoid feeling overwhelmed or resentful by not piling too much on your plate. You do not have to do it all! 
  8. Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits: The holiday season can end up being a “free for all” if you are not careful, and the overindulgence will only add to your stress load. By maintaining your healthy habits (such as healthy eating, adequate sleep, and regular physical activity), you can avoid going overboard with holiday treats and the feelings of guilt that may come along with them.  
  9. Take A Breather: You cannot give from an empty cup. Take some time to refresh and refuel yourself. Find 10-15 minutes each day to clear your mind and just breath, and take advantage of your opportunities to reduce stress like going for a walk, listening to music, reading a book, or getting a massage. 
  10. Seek Professional Help: If you find yourself struggling to cope despite your best efforts, visit a doctor or mental health professional. Do not feel ashamed to ask for help. Stress can take a serious toll on your overall health. In fact, 75% – 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.   

Don’t let holiday demands weigh you down this year. Take care of yourself so that you can embrace the reason for the season and celebrate fully the life and love you have been given.

Until next time, keep calm and keep up with the CASH blog!  

Alicia Marsh

Alicia Marsh

Homeownership Coordinator

aliciam@ihs-housing.org 

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