December 06, 2016
The upcoming holidays present many wonderful things, but it can also be a time filled with pressures and stress. Whether it’s finding those perfect gifts (or paying for them), difficult family dynamics, a crazy schedule, missing a loved one or even the feeling that you need to be joyous when you don’t feel that way.
The holidays are a time when stress, worry and sadness can feel increased. The hope is that these feelings are only temporary. By building upon and using our coping skills and strategies we can reduce these stressors and enjoy this time.
A good first step is being honest with yourself and your feelings without judgement. It is okay and almost expected to feel big emotions at this time. A question to ask ourselves is ‘how can I be kind to myself?’ This might be saying “no” to a request, or it could be looking at whether our perfect holiday is possible or not. If you’re feeling stress then chances are others are too.
Make a plan so that if feelings of worry, sadness or stress begin getting worse then you have tools that are ready to go:
• Reach out if you feel lonely – a simple coffee or phone call with a friend
• Spend time in nature – Take a walk, go cross country skiing
• Read a book, watch a movie, listen to soothing music or exercise
If your feelings of stress, worry and sadness get worse or if you are having a hard time managing see your health care provider, or speak with a mental health professional. There are also crisis supports available throughout the Holidays (1-888-893-8333)