Is stress standing in the way of your holiday joy? As with most things, you’re not alone.
Studies show that 38% of people report higher stress levels around the holidays. With all this anxiety accumulating around this supposedly joyous time, how does one combat the heightened nerves and can’t-shake-the-feeling jitters?
If you’re looking to have an easy-breezy holiday season, read on for four tips to help you de-stress this year!
Lower expectations of being ‘merry’
When you’re not feeling well during ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ the constant all-is-merry-and-bright messaging can only make things worse. High expectations of happiness can make the holiday season even harder, and there’s really no need for it.
In reality, the holidays are just like any other time of year. Reminding yourself of this fact is the first step to making them less stressful. Some helpful ways to put this season into perspective include:
- Talking to peers who feel the same way
- Sticking to your regular routine
- Letting emotions come and go in a mindful way (meditation is great for this)
- Avoiding obnoxious hallmark holiday specials and Christmas albums
- Keeping things simple with lowkey gatherings and gift exchanges
Bonus holiday tip: Sanvello is one of the best resources on the market for mental health help. When you feel negative thoughts surrounding holiday expectations, simply log on and use one of the many coping tools available through the app.
Don’t overindulge at the holiday party
A lot of people try to combat seasonal stress with substances, particularly booze.
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some peppermint martinis with the family, too much “holiday cheer” tends to exacerbate, not erase, negative feelings. When you’re feeling out of sorts, both physically and mentally, side effects may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Mood swings
Enjoy your holidays but do yourself a favour by taking a break now and then. Releasing your inhibitions isn’t always the best way to release your pent-up stress and anxiety.
Bonus holiday tip: If you’re reeling from one-too-many glasses of spiked eggnog, you’ll need to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost. Nuun’s revitalizing vitamins will help you recover from even the craziest holiday hangover.
Stuff your stocking with natural supplements
Everyone can use a helping hand during the holidays. Santa gets his toy-making elves; you can have a few natural supplements in your workshop.
Many people enjoy stress relief through the use of CBD. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive extract of the hemp plant. When this compound binds to the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, it helps regulate functions including:
- Stress response
- Nervous system
- Natural sleep cycle
Bonus holiday tip: The fastest way to reap the benefits of CBD is through vaping. CBDfx sells the best CBD vape kit for those who want their holiday de-stressor to be as safe as it is effective.
Make attainable resolutions
If you’re feeling the pressure of the New Year approaching, set some realistic goals for yourself.
A common source of seasonal stress is the feeling that you’re not accomplishing enough. To combat these negative thoughts, start by making a list of attainable resolutions for the coming year. These may include:
- Financial milestones
- Finishing a project you’ve been working on
- Prioritising your health with a realistic exercise routine
- Learning a new skill
You could let all that stress lead to feelings of guilt, or you could use it as motivation to prepare for 2021. Focusing on goal-oriented behaviours is a productive way to distract yourself from negative thoughts.
Bonus holiday tip: If you’re determined to learn something new in the coming year, check out Skillshare for helpful online courses in dozens of different fields.
Don’t let the holidays get the best of you
Many people struggle during this time of year. It’s okay if you’re not feeling the same level of spirit as those around you and want to get away. Remember that the best gift of all is taking care of yourself. With these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to a holly-jolly season in no time.
Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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