The end of the year may be filled with a lot of excitement. But along with delicious feasts, travel, and loving family times can come stress, financial struggles, and family conflicts.
Even if we enjoy many aspects of the season, there are things we wish we could avoid.
For some, the season might be a painful reminder of the struggles they are experiencing. Divorce, mental and terminal illness and financial struggles can hang like a dark cloud over their mood.
When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
Everything in moderation. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Be mindful of your own limitations when it comes to holiday indulgences. You already know your limits for alcohol and snacks. Having a healthy snack before parties will help you not to go overboard on snacks, foods or drinks. Listen to your own good sense and you’ll avoid waking up with regret, a hangover or extra weight in January.
Stick to your budget. Yes, it’s difficult to resist the commercialism, the hype, the buy, buy, buy messages that are everywhere. But it’s important to remind ourselves that overspending is not the only way to express love. Spending quality time with someone sometimes is the best present of all.
Try these suggestions to help you stick to a budget:
Take care of yourself. We should do this all the time but it’s especially important to get enough sleep, to eat right, and to get some exercise every day when stressed. Self-care is not an “extra,” even though it may seem to take too much time. When you are starting to feel overwhelmed or down, it is important to take time out and recuperate. Take a bath, listen to calm music, or go for a walk. This relaxing time alone can help you collect your thoughts and keep your mental health in check. Time invested in yourself each day will more than pay off in your general sense of well-being throughout the season.
Avoid Isolation: Work demands might keep you far from family during the holidays. This can be a key source of stress for many people. Connect with friends and plan some activities that celebrate the season — even if it’s just enjoying a cup of tea. Get into the holiday spirit by volunteering at a children’s home or charity event for needy children. Being in a festive atmosphere with other good people who are doing good work is a great antidote for loneliness.
Seek professional treatment. When your problems seem to become too overwhelming to handle or you may even start to have suicidal thoughts, it is important to recognize that you need professional help immediately. Therapy can provide you with the structure to address these issues while still enjoying some of the holiday seasons.
Symptoms of mental illness might get worse during the holiday season. So while some people may be feeling cheerful and festive, many others may be lonely and struggling to get by.
If you consistently battle with mental health problems, it is important to explore professional mental health treatment methods before the holidays begin.
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