• Neeley Hughey

5 Tips to Cope with Stress and the Holidays

If the isolation and loss of stability brought on by COVID was not enough, we are now entering the holiday season. While it may be one of the most joyous times of the year, it is also a time of overwhelming depression or stress for many.

If you are struggling or know someone who is, these tips can help cope with the stress.

  1. Figure out your budget and stick to it. People tend to go a little crazy with holiday shopping and gift giving. But the old adage is true “it’s the thought that counts.” Try putting more thought than money into your gifts this year.

  2. Host a potluck and invite everyone to bring their favorite holiday dish.

  3. Draw names for family presents or work Secret Santa and set a $$ limit.

  4. For your kids, limit to 4 gifts: something to wear, something to read, something to eat and something to play with.

  5. Don’t forget to visit thrift shops or offer to barter with people or even make things yourself.

  6. Make a plan. Part of the challenge is trying to be everywhere for everyone. Stop. And do make sure you make yourself a priority along with your family and friends. What do you want to do? Plan for it.

  7. Reach out early on and find out what the schedule is for your family festivities. If you cannot make it, tell them now. Be firm and definitive.

  8. What are your kids plans during the school break? Do you need to plan for their care? Do it now, find out what the day cares schedule is, your local babysitter, have an action plan in place.

  9. Step into the light. Seriously, go outside. Take a walk in the sun, take off your shoes and stand in the grass. Read this article published by Forbes to find out more.

  10. Count your blessings. A journal of gratitude is a great way to start your day on the right foot (and not just during the holidays.) Put a pen and notebook by your bedside and before you jump out of bed and into your day, take a moment to write down 3 things you are grateful for or are looking forward to. And to get double the impact, do it again when you go to bed, write three things that you enjoyed or appreciated that day.

  11. It is okay to not be okay. Acknowledge how you are feeling and do not hesitate to reach out. If you are not comfortable speaking with a friend or relative, reach out to professional counselor and set up a couple of check in sessions.

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