November 2020 – Holiday Stress
Holiday traditions often elicit feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia – the smell of cookies baking, the taste of treasured recipes, the sounds of family celebrations. It’s not surprising that human beings establish and value rituals. Research has found that a comfortable sense of structure offers psychological benefits, making it easier to enjoy ourselves, connect with loved ones and take a respite from the daily grind.
This year’s holiday season will be a unique one given the need to prioritize health and safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, limiting gatherings, skipping long-distance travel and foregoing holiday customs may be causing additional stress, uncertainty or loneliness for you and your loved ones.
To cope with these necessary changes and maintain your emotional wellbeing throughout the holiday season, be sure to:
- Take Care of Yourself First – One of the most important ways to take care of your mind is being good to your body. Eating healthy, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep can boost your energy, mood and resiliency. Activities such as meditation and journaling can help you release anxiety and process challenging emotions. Use one of the Resilience Boosters as a quick opportunity to relax and reset. A variety of other resources are available to you through SupportLinc.
- Set Expectations – There have been many disappointments during this long period of uncertainty and this holiday season will be no different. Discuss with loved ones which aspects of your usual festivities are most important. Focusing on the why – togetherness, the spirit of generosity, sharing memories and making new ones – can help you brainstorm creative ways to experience those feelings this year too.
- Create a Budget – The pandemic has affected household finances in many ways so limiting holiday spending this year can relieve additional stress. Consider exchanging cards with heartfelt messages, having a homemade gift challenge or choosing names for a gift exchange rather than buying for everyone. Simplify decorations and reallocate travel funds. The Savings Center offers a variety of discounts and coupons that can help keep spending within reason.
- Connect Regularly – Although social distancing may prevent seasonal gatherings, you can still reach out and catch up with the important people in your life. Create a calendar to call or video chat with different family members and friends throughout the coming months. Establish a group on a social platform like Facebook. Host chat sessions, plan online get-togethers and make videos to share while you decorate, bake and dine.
- Acknowledge the Hard – There is no right or wrong way to react in challenging circumstances. Reach out to a trusted confidant to talk about feeling of frustrations, sadness and loneliness. Sharing what you are experiencing can help ease concerns and boost your ability to cope.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns surrounding the holiday season or any of life’s other stressors, contact SupportLinc today for additional support at 1-888-881-5462.
To learn more about ‘Tis the Season: How to Survive the Holidays watch this short video.
SupportLinc Can Help.
For confidential guidance, support, resources and referrals, contact SupportLinc by selecting an icon from the Access Bar on the home screen or by calling 1-888-881-5462.