1. Don’t give up your self-care routine. Just because it’s the time of the year for giving, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your own needs. Many people feel pressured to fit everything in and it’s tempting to cut back on exercise, sleep, and other activities that get in the way of the holiday bustle. Continue to invest in yourself, perhaps even more than usual to help offset stress.
2. Set boundaries with family. The holidays bring people together, which can be experienced as comforting but can also bring out old dynamics like family politics, feeling obligated to attend every event, or trying to please by spending money you don’t have. It is ok to say “no” to things that feel unreasonable and also to ask others to pitch in if you are feeling overwhelmed.
3. Explore your expectations…are they realistic? It’s easy to feel disappointed when expectations aren’t met, especially from those that we love. Open communication can help get everyone on the same page around things like social obligations, gifts, holiday traditions etc.
4. Get your Om on. Or whatever else grounds you. With all the stuff going on, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious or frustrated. Yoga or other activities that help you breathe, stay present and in your body are excellent antidotes to the stress of the holidays.
5. Focus on gratitude more than gifts. Finding time to honor those in your life that you are grateful for is rewarding and strengthens your relationships.
6. Health is wealth. Don't completely ditch your health routine. Most of us indulge during the holidays but excess caffeine, sugar, and alcohol can impact sleep and mood. Keep things balanced with mindful consumption.
7. Talk back to your inner grinch. This is the voice in your head which is filled with judgement, comparisons, perfectionistic expectations and discontent. Even though the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, many people experience increased negative self-talk which can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, anger, sadness etc. Noticing this “voice” can help you begin to challenge unhealthy ways of thinking.
If you need more support, contacting a therapist or coach is a valuable way to learn and practice coping skills.