The holiday season is called the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most overwhelming. Between holiday shopping, decorating, and making time for family dinners and celebrations, the season can quickly become stressful. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to keep feelings of anxiety under control. These practical tips can minimize the stress that accompanies your never-ending list of demands.
Make a Plan to Reduce Holiday Stress
Nothing is more stressful than attempting to accomplish all of your tasks at the last minute. If you have a long list of friends and family to purchase gifts for this year, set aside time to slowly begin shopping until everyone is accounted for. If you are hosting a holiday party this year, decide on your menu ahead of time and begin cleaning and decorating your home at least a few days before your soiree. Planning ahead ensures that if something goes wrong, you’ll have ample time to fix the problem.
Don’t Neglect Your Own Needs Over the Holidays
Self-care is always important, but especially when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Make sure that you don’t abandon normal healthy habits. In addition to holiday treats, eating balanced meals and drinking enough water will keep you energized. If your calendar is filling up quickly, don’t spread yourself too thin! Practice saying “no” to activities that you don’t have the time or energy to devote to.
Stick to a Holiday Budget
Although showing our loved ones how much they mean to us is important, you don’t need to go into debt in the process. Purchases during the holiday season can add up, especially on top of normal, everyday expenses. To make this time of year more affordable, suggest a holiday gift exchange or make gifts by hand!
Seek Help for Holiday Anxiety
If you have too much on your plate this time of year, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or family member to ask for help. The people in our lives often won’t realize how we are feeling unless we explicitly share it with them. If you are running out of time to prepare holiday dishes or plan your office party, ask those around you to pitch in. A simple conversation can go a long way in keeping you sane during the holidays!
When Holiday Anxiety is Too Much
For those who are combatting an anxiety disorder, the stress around the holidays can easily exacerbate the condition, even when you’ve taken steps like those above. In these cases, it is time to seek the help of a mental health professional. A board-certified psychiatrist like those at Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge can help you better understand your anxiety, how to cope with it, and provide the tools needed to give you the best possible quality of life. Together, we can create a plan of action to ease your anxieties so that you can make the most out of the season.