The 12 Tips of Christmas (For Reducing Stress)
All the expectations of the holidays can turn a season of goodwill into a season of great stress. Here are 12 mental health tips to keep in mind this December:
1. Decide how you would like to celebrate Christmas this year. If a huge meal and a packed house isn’t your idea of a perfect day, maybe this is the year to make some changes.
2. Remember that the holidays don’t magically make conflict disappear. If there is someone you don’t get along with, adjust your expectations and accept the holidays won’t make that person more tolerable.
3. Keep spending under control. It’s not good for your mental health to start the New Year worrying about more debt.
4. Avoid the shopping crowds. Unless you adore packed stores, try to shop at quieter times. Consider taking a day off to shop during a weekday.
5. Take time out each day for some relaxation.
6. Exercise! Physical activity lifts your mood and can reduce stress.
7. Remember others. There is bound to be someone you know who is not feeling festive. Give them a call. (Not a text, A CALL!) The support of friends can be really helpful, so stay in touch.
8. Monitor your drinking. Too much alcohol can make you irritable, tired, and add to depression.
9. Don’t drive when you’re tired, stressed or have been drinking.
10. Stress can contribute to mental health problems such as depression and sometimes grief for loved ones who are not with us can emerge. If you are vulnerable to stress or are close to someone who is, make sure you have someone you trust to talk to or contact a professional.
11. Don’t be lonely. If you will be alone this Christmas consider community activities and get-togethers in your local area. There may be volunteering opportunities in hospitals or rest homes where Christmas is a shared event.
12. Remember that the holidays don’t have to be perfect. Try not to put pressure on yourself to keep everyone happy. You’re supposed to be enjoying yourself!
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