How to Lower Stress Levels During the Holidays

Jennifer Scott
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Despite all the radio and TV jingles harping about the joy of the holiday season, it’s very likely you are feeling a bit stressed out about the prospect of undertaking all the holiday-related activities. Activities such as attending parties, gift shopping, cooking, cleaning the home, and entertaining holiday guests can certainly wear you out if you’re not careful. And if you happen to be prone to anxiety attacks, the holiday season poses a unique challenge.
 
However, what follows are a few practical tips on how best to lower stress levels during the holidays. Actively implementing these should help you adopt a more relaxed attitude to the season, and even help you enjoy them more than you ever thought you would:
 
Tips For Lowering Incidence of Holiday Anxiety and Depression
 
Vent Your Feelings
 
The holiday season is one when you might feel constantly obliged to “put on” a cheerful face when your internal feelings are anything but cheerful. During this time of heightened socializing, find the time to be authentic to the feelings you are feeling, and express these through activities that specifically help you process your emotions. Jot down your impressions in a journal, meet up with a friend to discuss your problems, or meditate, in order to healthily process your feelings. The key is to “make” the time to focus on you during a season when people are expected to put others first.
 
Reach Out
 
The holiday season is among the busiest in the year for a lot of people who find themselves having a hard time balancing work with the acts of connecting with family and friends. Don’t be surprised at the fact that your friends might not be able to be there for you in-person as you feel anxious or depressed over the holiday season. Instead, force yourself to step out of the house and find support and companionship with people attending religious, volunteering or community events in your area. Here, you’re certain to find like-minded people whom you can connect with to the point of becoming friends.
 
Introduce New Traditions
 
Part of what might be causing you to be anxious or depressed over the holidays is the anticipation of repeated traditions in your home that put you at ill ease. Inject novelty into the holiday season by proposing one or more new traditions and rituals to be celebrated by your family. Helping to organize something new and different, may cheer you up significantly. One idea, for example, is to start a family exchange of digital videos, pictures and emails during a holiday season when you won’t be seeing certain adult family members who live in another town. Having them send you their greetings, in a digital way, can help reassure you that you are indeed still loved and appreciated within the family circle.  
 
Play with Your Pets More
 
The holiday season can be a season where you revel in canine affection. Setting aside quality time to hang out with your pet more as the fun snow settles in your district is a wonderful way to tone down anxiety and stress. Remember, your dog is a source of infectious cheer when you take the time to deeply connect with him or her. Playing with and/or caressing her more often during the holiday season is certain to uplift your spirits and ward off the gremlin of anxiety and depression.
 
In Conclusion
 
The holiday season can introduce a whole new level of stress to your every-day life. But by implementing the tips above, you can find yourself successfully deflating the balloon of stress you’re hauling about by simply changing holidays rituals and traditions, and spending more quality me-time in between socializing activities. Soon, a brand new year will be upon you, giving you an opportunity to wind down following the hectic holiday season.