Labor Day has come and gone. That means the holiday season is right around the corner. Starting with Halloween and culminating with New Year’s Day, the holiday season is a series of seemingly nonstop festivities.
While such a stretch of time may sound inherently enjoyable, the truth is many people experience stress and anxiety during the last few months of the year. Between the tax bills due, pressure to find the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, and making it to the end without gaining 10 pounds from overindulging in sweet and savory holiday foods, there are many reasons why people associate the holiday season with stress and anxiety.
The good news is there are several ways to manage the stress and anxiety of the holidays. These techniques can be utilized for the remainder of the year. Let’s take a look at seven ways to reduce stress and control anxiety during the upcoming holiday season.
Mindfulness is one of those buzzwords getting tossed around a lot in recent years. Despite new definitions generated by its surge in popularity, mindfulness boils down to one’s ability to be conscious and aware of their own emotions and reactions in light of ongoing events. The better we recognize the relationship between our mental health and the outside world, the better we can manage the stress and anxiety that comes with life. Given the uptick in pressure that comes with the holidays, the ability to practice mindfulness will come in handy in terms of limiting the impact of stress and anxiety.
There are several supplements available that are said to help individuals manage stress and anxiety. For example, ashwagandha extract has been shown to help reduce stress, regulate cortisol levels, improve focus, increase mental stamina, and limit irritability. That adds up to the tremendous potential to reduce stress and anxiety. Similar supplements include magnesium, melatonin, L-Theanine, St. John’s Wort, Rhodiola, and Valerian root.
Talk to a therapist
Sometimes, the best way to address stress and anxiety – especially during the holiday season – is to talk to someone. While speaking candidly with friends and family is one way to do this, there exist inherent risks in doing so, mainly in the form of having personal information spread among those you know best. The preferred alternative is to speak with a licensed mental health professional. Thanks to apps like Talkspace, the ability to consult a therapist has never been easier.
The holiday season is notorious for its seemingly never ending series of obligations and traditions. Rather than let these build up to the point where you’re forced to get a lot done in a short amount of time, consider planning ahead and pacing yourself for the next few months. With a few works left in September, consider stocking up on Halloween essentials before you feel compelled to do so with days to spare. Rinse and repeat for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and whichever other holidays you and your family choose to celebrate. That way, you don’t end up frazzled and frantic due to limited time to prepare for these festivities.
Taking time out of each day to document your thoughts, feelings, and observations has been shown to help people manage stress and anxiety. With this in mind, consider using the upcoming holiday season to start making daily entries into a journal. Simply jotting down the day’s events is seemingly enough to help folks process the ups and downs of life. While not everyone has what it takes to commit to journaling, those who do will notice a profound improvement almost immediately.
Go for long walks
For those living in the northern hemisphere, the holiday season is partly defined by colder weather. This often results in spending excessive amounts of time indoors. That, in turn, leads to increased stress and anxiety. With this in mind, consider the benefits of going for long walks outside. Doing so helps you clear your head and focus on what matters most. While long walks in cold weather might sound awful at first, taking the time to dress appropriately will account for any temperature-related inconvenience you may encounter.
Get enough sleep
Regardless of the time of year, quality sleep goes a long way in helping folks manage stress and anxiety. With this in mind, consider doing your best to improve your sleep this holiday season.
While the holidays are inherently associated with happy memories, they’re also bound to generate added stress and anxiety. With that said, there are many ways for individuals to manage the stress and anxiety of the holidays. Doing so not only makes the holidays more bearable, they help you to appreciate their value.