3 Tips to Deal with Holiday Stress
So, tis the season! We’re going to talk about three ways to deal with holiday season stress. By the way, can anyone just FEEL the frustration in this photo? I know it’s not just me. Just seeing this tangled mess and I get annoyed. LOL
Home Alone just got real.
Usually, when people ask us how it’s going during the holidays, my immediate response has been “oh… it’s going…” What a loaded answer right? But it’s totally true- we are usually going, going, going! It’s almost as if my calendar explodes in November and December. But, obviously, this year is very different.Bringing a new meaning to Home Alone. The pandemic has forced us to slow down in some ways. But, that still doesn’t mean that the holidays aren’t still stressful. In fact, most of us would probably say that they are stressful in many different ways now.
Perhaps rather than running from store to store, you are shopping more online and constantly checking shipping tracking numbers juggling incoming online gift orders, worrying if things will get delayed. And perhaps you’re now attending various “creative” online holiday parties and trying to remember if it was via Zoom link, Skype, Facetime, Facebook video, or GMeet…?
Even though this season is still chaotic in its own way, don’t fall for the trap!
Just because you…
- Have more “down time”
- Aren’t seeing certain people
- Aren’t traveling
- Aren’t spending as much money as usual
- Are not attending in person OR are attending in person
Doesn’t mean that you have to…
- Hand make all of your gifts or give everyone something “better or bigger” than usual
- Cook or bake every meal from scratch
- Attend every virtual or in person party
- Overspend or overextend your finances on gifts/meals to compensate
- Explain your choices to others
3 Small Reminders = Massive Impact: I will be sharing three tips to deal with holiday stress, but before I do. I want to warn you that they require action on your part. And I think that this Emerson quote sums it up perfectly.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841)
1. TAKE TIME.
I don’t know who needs to hear this but, submit those vacation days at work! Never feel guilty for taking your full lunch break, needing a mental health day, or using your vacation time.
Time is the only currency you can never get back, so, get in the habit of paying yourself first.
So, number two… News flash! It’s absolutely okay…
It’s absolutely acceptable to not go to to the 30th Virtual Ugly Sweater Party you’ve been invited to this year. Whether its for work OR FAMILY. Yep, read that again.
If cancelling plans helps you rest or saves you unavoidable conflict, RSVP as no.
Holiday times with family does not require you to engage in conversations that are energetically draining. They also do not require you to deny your reality and/or confirm a reality of a family member that you do not share. You do NOT need to abandon your identity, your needs, or your boundaries because of their opinions or perceptions of your past self.
Okay, so. Let’s just sit with that for a minute. It’s a toughie. And I am just going to bet that some of you are thinking, “Yeah right Linzy. Saying no? You don’t know my family, girlfriend. That ain’t gonna fly.” And you are right, I don’t know your family. Only you can really make the decision (Ralph Waldo Emerson quote). But, let me just challenge you with this…
It’s SUPER easy saying NO to our family and friends right? But what if saying NO to others, means saying YES to ourselves?
And it’s not just about having the freedom to say no or to cancel. You can simply seek change! Don’t be afraid to suggest new traditions or reimagine get-togethers. Think about this question and start there:
Who should I be with and how should I be with them?
Sometimes that list of ‘who’ is longer/shorter than it really needs to be. Sometimes quality time can be spent in ways we never thought of before. Try something different!
3. Be present 😉
Practice mindfulness while making decisions during the holiday season.
-Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, thoughts.
-Practicing mindfulness is the attempt to lengthen the time between something happening and your reaction to it.
For example: Rather than panicking and saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the moment to a particular commitment, take a moment to notice how you feel and think about it. Are your jaw clenched? Do you feel out of breath? Perhaps you feel energized and excited?
Use downtime wisely! Extra 30 mins? Instead of catching up on tasks, go for a walk outside or do an at home workout! It will leave you more energized and productive!
Be mindful about making nutritious choices while attending events. You don’t need to skip the cookies entirely. Repeat: I am NOT saying skip the cookies. But I am saying that cutting back on sugar and white flour DOES impact mood and energy levels.
Lastly, try to reframe your thoughts. Instead of trying to “get through the holidays,” start saying to yourself “who am I seeing and what am I doing that I am thankful for today/this year.”
So, let’s make a plan. Grab your journal and try to write down your thoughts to these questions:
Time: How do you plan on carving out some family/meaningful time in December? Is it a day off, a week off? Perhaps a weekend staycation?
Boundaries: What is one way this holiday season that you can say NO to something that would allow you to say YES to yourself? Who should I be with and how should I be with them?
Mindfulness: In what kinds of situations do you think it would be helpful to practice mindfulness this holiday season?
Based in Pittsburgh PA, Linzy Farmerie-Mogielski has battled high functioning anxiety and clinical depression for most of her adult life and has found life-changing freedom and community in breaking stigmas. As an advocate for change, she speaks at events encouraging others to seek appropriate care and practice radical self-love. Through sharing her story, her superpowers have become approachability, vulnerability, and transparency! In addition to mental health, she is passionate about ministry, travel, art, and coffee! Linzy is also a frequenting contributing member of the BroglieBox writing team. You can follow her on instagram at @bonjourlinzy