Published on December 02, 2013
Top 10 Tips for Coping with the Holidays
From crowded malls to unpaid bills to hosting out-of-town guests, the holidays can cause overwhelming stress. Cut through the chaos and stress by following our top 10 holiday tips:
- Be kind to yourself.
This is first on the list because it's the most important!
- Spend time with people with whom you can feel free to be yourself.
- Set some time apart for quiet remembrance.
- A 15-minute break can help you relax and relieve stress.
- Taking a brisk walk or getting some exercise can significantly improve your mood.
- Establish priorities.
- If you can't do everything, it's ok to say no to some things.
- Do what you want to do, not what you "should" do.
- Plan ahead.
- Shop by mail or Internet. Have the company wrap and ship gifts directly to recipients.
- Start addressing your holiday cards now. Complete five cards a night. Or, send New Year's cards this year instead.
- Simplify gift-giving by choosing a theme. For example: Buy a book or sweater for everyone on your list.
- Plan meals, shopping lists and other activities in advance so you have more time to enjoy the holidays.
- Set limits.
- Go on a stress-reduction diet this holiday season.
- Relax your housekeeping preparations.
- Share the workload: make the holidays a family affair so you're not burdened with all of the work.
- Shop early in the month and early in the day.
- Set a budget and don't spend more than you intend. Don't let guilt, competitiveness or perfectionism send you on more shopping excursions than you would like.
- Don't do too much. Take time to rest and relax.
- Tell others clearly what you want and need for the holidays.
- Create new rituals.
- Realize it's normal to have feelings of sadness and depression.
- If you're facing difficult family situations, set aside time to spend with your friends.
- Those who feel isolated or alone should take advantage of resources in their community or volunteer their time at a local charity.
- If you feel you or a loved one is suffering from more than just the holiday blues, it's always a good idea to ask for help. Call Wheaton Franciscan Mental Health & Addiction Care in Milwaukee at 414-874-4560 or Racine at 262-687-2273.
- Read our Help for the Holiday Blues article for additional information.
- Allow yourself to be human.
Avoid perfectionist expectations during the holidays.
- Find ways to stay healthy.
- Continue to exercise. Don't let your regular regimen lapse.
- Eat heatlhy foods and limit your consumption of high-fat holiday treats.
- Serve healthy fare at your family's holiday party. Browse our Healthy Recipes library for lots of healthy and tasty ideas!
- Celebrate life.
- Remember what's important. Spend some time focusing on family, religious beliefs or traditions.
- Reflect on the past. Honor and remember loved ones who have passed away.