Managing Stress and Anxiety this Holiday Season
December 14, 2023
While we look forward to the holiday season, increased feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression are real and are felt by many. Pushing through these emotions won’t help. Here are a few tips to head off that hectic holiday feeling and help you enjoy the season.
Choose activities purposefully and honor your limits. If you’re overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, consider skipping an activity or two. Remember, it’s okay to take a time out.
Exercise can boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. People who exercise feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Don’t attempt to drink away stress or unpleasant emotions; especially if you’re on a medication that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. If alcohol is being served at a gathering, remember that you’re in control, and it’s okay to leave if the desire to drink becomes to overwhelming.
Spending time outdoors or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. The sun gives us the best source of Vitamin D and getting enough of this nutrient is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down, but is good for your heart, too.
Keep Up Healthy Habits
Be sure to include healthy options for snacks and meals throughout the season and step up your exercise routine. It’s also important to take care of your healthy mental habits and find ways to relax, reenergize, and slow down.
Love on an Animal
Pets, especially dogs and cats, can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.
Don’t Compare Your Holiday with Others
Social media allows you to see what all your friends are doing during the holidays. Making comparisons can leave you feeling let down. Remember that everyone’s holiday traditions are different, and that photos typically only represent happy moments.
Reach Out for Help
The holidays don’t always feel like the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone. With professional help, your doctor, therapist, or other care provider can guide you in your journey toward healing, so you can begin to find moments of comfort and joy.
At Memorial Medical Center, we offer high-quality, inpatient mental healthcare for those struggling with a wide range of mental and behavioral health concerns. Our assessment team is available 24/7. Call 575.521.2215 or visit www.mmclc.org/behavioral-health for more information.