Although the holiday season is often viewed as a joyful time of year, it is also a time that can induce stress and depression. In fact, a recent survey found that 80% of people find the season to be “somewhat” or “very” stressful. The demands of cooking, shopping, finances, cleaning, and entertaining can all be considered contributing factors.

This year in particular may bring heightened feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and depression surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. People may be missing their family and friends, as many traditions are put on hold. This being the case, we’ve put together some tips to help minimize stress this holiday season.

1. Express your feelings

Feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed? You’re entitled to your feelings and it’s important to acknowledge them. Be honest with yourself and others. By recognizing these feelings, you can make decisions that are best for you. Often, people feel pressured into saying “yes” to others, as to not disappoint them (especially during the holiday season). When turning something/someone down, there may be feelings of guilt or regret, but if you aren’t feeling up to something, it’s perfectly alright to say “no.”

2. Create a schedule and plan ahead

Planning a schedule is a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Set aside time for baking, shopping, [virtual] celebrations with family and friends, staying active, and time for yourself. By doing this, you can avoid the stress of last-minute rushing and having to fit everything into the calendar at once.

3. Adhere to a budget

It can be easy to overspend during the holiday season, which can increase anxiety over finances. That’s why setting a budget for gift and food shopping can be extremely beneficial. Set a reasonable amount for your budget and stick to it, that way you won’t be stressing over finances when the new year begins.

4. Don’t abandon healthy habits

When life gets busy during the holiday season, it can become easy to abandon healthy habits. Remember that it’s still essential to get proper sleep, eat healthy, stay on your exercise routine, and take care of yourself. By maintaining healthy habits, you can lower stress levels and benefit your mental health.

5. Celebrate virtually

This year has been full of uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This being said, it’s impossible to know what could result from holiday get-togethers. During these times, with so many applications available for video chatting, we recommend opting for virtual celebrations. This will help you protect yourself and your loved ones, keeping everyone healthy and safe during the holiday season.

In short, these tips can help to reduce the stress and anxiety that may come during the holiday season. Although, if you are feeling constantly sad, depressed, or anxious, it’s important to seek help. If you’re not sure where to begin, or what next steps to take, our team at Feinberg Health Care Solutions is here to help guide you. Speak to an experienced professional today at 877.538.5425.