6 Ways to Make the Holidays Less Stressful

For the newly separated or divorced, the holidays can generate an extra load of stress and anxiety. Follow these tips to go from dreading to enjoying the holidays again.

make the holidays less stressful: woman walking her beagle in the fall countryside

With the holidays can come a lot of different problems related to stress and anxiety for a newly separated or divorced person. These issues can pop up during this time for a number of reasons. For one, you may be worried about meeting up with your family. Or maybe the anxiety and stress that comes with gift-giving could be getting to you. Whatever the issue is that you are facing, you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to reduce your stress and not feel overwhelmed. The holidays should be something that you look forward to, not something that you dread. Luckily, by following a few of these tips you can improve your overall mood and reduce the stress that can sometimes come with the holiday season.

6 Ways to Make the Holidays Less Stressful

1. Find (or Make) Time for Yourself

During the holidays it’s easy to get caught up in family dinners, decorating the house, and gatherings with friends. Make sure to take a minute from wrapping gifts and focus on something that you enjoy and makes you feel relaxed, preferably a low impact activity away from everyone else. Simply getting away from everyone and recharging is a great way to make yourself feel more comfortable and ready to take on the rest of the holiday season.

2. Follow a Schedule

With holiday tasks and events popping up unexpectedly it can be hard to stick to a schedule, but going to bed and waking up at a consistent time can help avoid daytime drowsiness and reduce stress. Your sleep schedule is just one thing that you can control; there are countless other things. For example, if you have started going to the gym or on runs, it is something that you should stay consistent with. Working out regularly is a great way to reduce stress and improve mood, and getting in a routine and sticking to it is one way that you can commit to this.

3. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Around the holidays drinking becomes more prevalent and accepted at all hours. Drugs and alcohol can exacerbate stress, so don’t make any exception around the holidays and excuse overconsumption. Substance abuse is a serious issue that can cause numerous problems and make others much worse. Luckily, there are many national and local treatment centers such as drug rehab in Indiana that can help people overcome their respective problems. While many people may be reluctant to go to a drug or alcohol treatment center, your health is much more important than pride or worry. Whatever issues that you may have when it comes to getting help, you need to put these aside and get the assistance you need. Obviously, the holidays are a common time when people gather around for drinks; however, if alcohol is something you struggle with, you need to try and avoid these situations or stay committed to your sobriety.

4. Talk to Someone

The holidays are a busy time filled with memories both good and bad. Since it is the season to stay busy it can be easy to avoid any mental health concerns. Speaking with a local psychiatrist, mental health counselor, or attending a support group gives you a chance to express what you’re feeling mentally and emotionally. There is an obvious mental health stigma in the United States that can dissuade some people from seeking the treatment that they need; however, it is important that if you are dealing with an abnormal amount of stress or anxiety, you seek professional help. Talking with a therapist can help patients overcome many issues that they may be facing.

5. Exercise

Even five active minutes helps reduce feeling stressed. Vigorous activity is best, but something as small as light stretching helps release endorphins and lower stress levels. Whether you are lifting weights, going on a run, playing a sport, or even just going on a walk, as long as you are being active and getting your blood flowing it can help you. Exercise is something that can help people with both physical and mental health. There is mounting evidence that exercise can help with certain mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

6. Eat Right

One thing that is commonly overlooked when it comes to reducing stress and improving physical and mental health is your diet. During the holidays it is easy to overeat or to eat a lot of sugary, unhealthy foods. While it is okay to indulge here and there, you need to be sure that you are still putting the right things in your body as well. If you are not putting the right things in your body, it can have a major effect on your overall mood. When you are looking at your diet, you need to be sure that you are getting a balanced and diverse diet that includes fruit and vegetables. Also, avoiding a high sugar intake or high-sugar foods is another way that you can reduce certain problems such as stress and anxiety. You should also ensure that you are getting enough water throughout the day. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention does not have a specific recommendation for how much water you drink, although it is something that you should be doing throughout the day.

Bottom Line: Take Care of Yourself, Now More than Ever

These are a few things that you should try to implement in your life to improve stress-related issues. They are simple things that you can change in your life today to ensure that you are taking the proper precautions when it comes to your health. Overall, mental illness problems such as depression and anxiety are major issues that can affect your ability to function properly during your day-to-day life – and if you do not make changes when you need to, it can lead to serious issues.

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