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  • Writer's picture Zerian Douglas

Maintaining Mental Health and Managing Stress During the Holidays

Updated: Nov 15, 2023


The holidays can be a joy-filled occasion with family, friends, and other loved-ones. However, for some, the holidays can bring about stress, anxiety, or other negative mental effects. Struggling around the holidays can be difficult, but there are a number of ways to attempt to cope.


Prioritize Self Care


It can be difficult to remember that you and your mental health are important when the holidays primarily involve giving. Take care of yourself by taking breaks in between working, organizing social or family holiday events, exercising, eating healthy meals, and partaking in relaxing activities and hobbies. Avoid alcohol and drugs.


If you are surrounded by cheerful activities and aren’t feeling the same way, recognize that you do not need to force yourself to be cheerful in a similar way. Try to prepare yourself by understanding what contributes to your feelings, as this may reduce emotional pressure. Don’t feel pressured to take part in activities you aren’t comfortable with. It is your right to say no. Communicate with others about what your holiday plans are to make it clear what you are comfortable with.


Dealing with Grief, Loneliness, or Loss


Dealing with loss or grief is never easy. In this case, trying to surround yourself with those who understand you might be helpful. This might be friends, other family members, faith groups, or community support groups.


Let other people know what you are struggling with and how they may assist you in this difficult time. People often want to help but don’t know what to say or how to approach the subject.


If you are feeling disconnected, try a different way to communicate with others, such as through social media, phone calls, or sending personalized holiday cards.


Holiday Shopping


Many people are stressed during the holiday season about gift-giving on strained budgets or trying to find the perfect gift. Consider giving more personalized-gifts such as framed photos, letters, or homemade items as these are often less expensive and greatly appreciated. Reduce stress and pressure by setting a budget for yourself and communicating to others about what you can or cannot realistically spend. Consider volunteering, as it can often take the pressure and anxiety off of us by doing something nice for another person.


Seek Professional Help


Sometimes, nothing works when you are trying to relieve yourself of stress, anxiety, or depression. If you continue to feel overwhelmed or depressed, our services at Allies in Caring may be able to assist. Call Convivir Wellness Hub at (609) 878-2007 or email us at convivir@alliesincaring.org.

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