Tips for chasing the Blues away during the Festive season
The holidays can be a great time of celebration but for some, the approaching holiday season can heighten stress. There’s an overwhelming pressure to be happy and an expectation that the season will lift our spirits.
The reality is that for some, the intended source of holiday joy; families, togetherness, celebrating; is actually the source of stress, sadness and disappointment.
If this reality speaks to you, it’s important to consider how you might prepare yourself for the holiday festivities and maintain your balance and wellbeing.
Set limits on your time and money.
Establish a realistic budget and don’t feel that you have to spend big in order to demonstrate love. Prioritise holiday tasks and be realistic about what you can accomplish.
Pace yourself and get away from the noise.
Get away from the desk, the ringing phones and the inevitable crowds. Change your surroundings and enjoy a walk or some ‘time-out’. Consider meditation or yoga to help you cope with stress and reduce its effects. If the holidays are a time of personal crisis, social media can create additional stress so be mindful of whether this is also triggering anxiety or overwhelming you.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
That means don’t attend parties when you don’t really have time or if you know that this environment will be a trigger for you.
Spend time with others and consider volunteering.
It can raise your spirits to make the holidays more pleasant for those less fortunate.
Spend time with supportive and caring people whom you trust.
Put yourself first, not last.
Get at least 20 minutes of sunlight each day and remember to exercise. Pamper yourself a little. Avoid excessive drinking or eating. Watch your consumption of snacks,
caffeine, salt and sugary treats.
Create your own new traditions.
Instead of reliving past holidays that didn’t live up to expectations, focus on positive things and let go of what you think ‘should be’.
Find new ways to celebrate with family and friends.
Remember there are really no ‘rules’ for how to spend your holidays.
Get some rest.
People actually lose sleep during the holidays. The consequences of not getting enough sleep might be cloudy thinking, irritability and a reduced ability to deal with everyday stress.
Take one day at a time and breathe.
Don’t put pressure on yourself by thinking about all the time extending ahead of you with your family (or the environment or trigger that is causing anxiety). Write a journal to better understand your thoughts, your body, your feelings and your behaviour. This may help to reduce anxiety and stress.
The holiday ‘blues’ can be quite common, but if you are feeling especially down, please remember that it’s ok to reach out and ask for help. South Pacific Private wants you to know that you aren’t alone.