It’s that time of year where we string up the lights, cozy up next to the fire, and maybe sing a carol or two. It’s also the time of year that may provide us with some extra stress and anxiety. That’s right, the holidays are upon us once again! We put a lot of effort into making the holidays a joyous and memorable experience for our friends and family, so we deserve to enjoy this wonderful time of year as well! According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s recent poll, three-quarters of respondents say their more depressed and/or anxious during the holiday season.
Whether the anxiety stems from perceived familial expectations, a lost loved one, apprehension of being in large-crowds, relatives that dont get along, or trying to keep the peace at a family gathering, the holidays can be a stressful time of year. Thankfully, there are steps we can take in order to help ease our minds.
-Set realistic expectations of ourselves. We all want the best for those we care about, but that tiny spot we missed on the bathroom mirror isn’t going to earn the scorn of Grandpa and Grandma. So take a breath and try to let some things be. If you aren’t hosting, it’s just as easy to let expectations get away from you. There’s bound to be some disagreement at a gathering, just let it take it’s course. Getting anxious about it isn’t going to prevent it. A little dose of madness keeps things interesting anyway!
-Remind yourself that what you “must” do during the holidays is a self-imposed notion. This is a time of year which is chock full of tradition, and any deviation from what we have “always done” can cause a huge amount of anxiety, UNLESS, of course, we decide that what we “must” do is different than what we “have done in the past”. Remember that the holidays are just as much your time of year as anyone else’s, and if you want to sit at home and have a quiet, close holiday, that’s perfectly okay!
-Have fun! This is a great time to really flex your creativity, and that should be a pleasant experience. Don’t get to down on yourself about trivial things like not having the placemats you wanted, or that the star on the tree isn’t perfectly straight, or the menorah isn’t as shiny as it used to be. Let the small stuff roll off your back and just have fun with whatever you decide to do this holiday!
Have any good holiday tips? We’d love to hear from you!