The holidays may be all about joy and cheer, but depression and anxiety are actually more common this time of year than you might think. Holiday stress can spoil your holidays and be damaging to your health. If you have a history of stressful and depressing holidays, here are 8 tips to help you prevent it so that you can enjoy the season to its fullest.
1. Plan ahead. Don’t leave things for the last minute, such as gift shopping or booking a flight back home for the holidays.
2. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling overwhelmed, resentful, and adds to holiday stress. People will understand if you can’t attend every activity or project.
3. Stick to a budget. One of the most important ways to avoid financial stress during the holiday season is to make a budget for your holiday shopping. Be realistic; if you can’t afford to buy your loved one that pricey new gadget, give him a gift card to help chip on his purchase for the future.
4. Set family differences aside. There’s no such thing as a perfect family. As everyone grows and changes, opinions and traditions may clash. It’s better to accept the things you cannot change than to let it cause you unnecessary stress.
5. Cry if you have to. It’s perfectly normal to feel alone during the holidays, especially if you can’t be with your loved ones this time of year. It’s good to express your feelings and let it all out if you have to.
6. Plan your outfits in advance. During the holidays you’ll likely get invited to several parties and dinners, many of which can be last-minute invitations. Plan your outfits ahead so tat you won’t have to frantically pick and choose an outfit before a big event.
7. Don’t worry about weight gain. Putting on a little extra weight during the holidays is normal. Exercise regularly and indulge yourself once or twice a week and enjoy all of the delicious things there are to eat this time of year without feeling guilty.
8. If you’re single, so what? Embrace it. Enjoy the holiday season for all it has to offer and leave all the worrying about being coupled up for after the holidays.