Tips for Dealing with Anxiety and Sadness Over the Holidays

Getting together with family over the holidays is supposed to be an occasion we look forward to right? In reality often times its not that simple….. setting too high of expectations, money woes, and all those holiday get togethers can be stressful for anyone, especially those who suffer from anxiety and sadness. Please know it is possible to enjoy the holidays. With a tad of foresight and planning I’m hoping this holiday seasonleaves you feeling up and not down.

Here are a few Tips I would like to share.

· Plan Ahead – come up with activities that you enjoy (e.g. reading a book, meeting a friend at your favorite coffee shop, etc). Write them down so you don’t forget.

· Forget Perfection – list a few things that genuinely make you and others happy and follow through with what’s listed. If you compete all that’s on your list Great! In not, don’tsweat it. Stick to what feels good and do it!

· Learn to Grieve – if you’re mourning a loved one it’s important to talk about your feelings with loved ones, counselor or support group.

· Prioritize workouts – chances are the more you have to do the more stressed you’ll be. Make sure to blow off some stress by exercising. It’s been proven to boost your mood.

· Make sure to set aside a holiday budget and stick to it. Remember what’s purchased on your credit card in December, will show up on your bill in January.

· Lastly, focus on what really matters to you. Is it your family, attending church, thanking those who have been there for you through out the year? Prioritize what matters to you most. Nothing makes me feel better than letting someone know I am thinking of them and thankful for having them in my life.

How to Deal with Family Members over the Holidays

Getting together with family over the holidays is supposed to be a joyous occasion. In reality often times its not that simple….. especially if you don’t always get along with certain family members. Please know it is possible to enjoy the day by prioritizing your mental health and being proactive.
First, be aware that if you are the one responsible for the dinner seating arrangements make sure not to sit certain people who do not always get along next to each other. Think of someone on your invite list that has a sense of humor that can act as a buffer and seat them between those with strong (possibly toxic personalities).
Second, watch the amount of alcohol being served! If everyone starts drinking at noon and you don’t eat dinner until 6:00 that’s a recipe for disaster. Inhibitions decrease dramatically as we drink and the chances of something being said that can’t be taken back increase ten-fold.
Thirdly, It’s wise to tear away from social media before, during and directly after Thanksgiving Break. I’m certain you will benefit from the mental break and it will prove to be beneficial when your faced with a barrage of social media posts from people who are all smiles, hash tagging #greattobehome. It may be all you can do to survive the day.
Lastly, remember that the time spent with everyone is a finite amount of time (2,4,6 hours) when I think of situations I am apprehensive about entering I remind myself that the situation is temporary.