The holiday season can be for many of us, bitter sweet. Along with spending some quality time with friends or loved ones, sharing in gift giving and indulging in decadent treats, it can also trigger and invite some unwanted guests - stress, anxiety and depression. Indeed, the holidays present a dizzying array of demands with all of the baking, cleaning, spending, entertaining and time spent with some you'd rather just avoid. When the stress of this is at its peak, it can be difficult to stop and regroup. Incorporating the following practical and preventative stress relieving tips, may help you to enjoy the holidays greater than expected.
Tips to Ease and Prevent Holiday Stress, Anxiety and Depression:
1. Acknowledge and validate your feelings. If you have experienced loss in your life and the holidays trigger feelings of grief, recognize that it is absolutely normal to feel sadness at a time where sharing with loved ones is so heavily emphasized. Take time to cry and give voice to your feelings. Perhaps plan a memorial activity to do on your own or with others to commemorate your loved one's life. Check out this link for instructions on the Balloon Release: How to Use Balloons in Memory of Your Lost Loved One
Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_5560227_use-memory-lost-loved-one.html
2. Be realistic with demands and expectations. Listen to the language of the body. If you have been experiencing a rise of physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive distress or overall exhaustion, these are often signals that you may need to re-evaluate expectations and emotional needs. Remember, the holidays do not have to be perfect. As families grow and adapt to new changes, traditions and rituals often transform as well. Choose those that are realistic to hold on to, and be open to collaborate on new ones.
3. Say no when necessary. Saying yes when you should say no only leaves us feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Friends, family and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every event. If it's not possible to say no, try to remove something else from your agenda that will balance out the loss of time.
4. Take a breather. Scheduling in some time for yourself without distractions, can help you to regroup. Simple strategies include:
o Lay down and listen to soothing music.
o Try out this Three-Minute Breathing Space Mediation: http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/
o Read a book.
5. Reach out or Seek professional help. If you are feeling a sense of loneliness or isolation, seek out community, religious or other social events for comfort and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others is also a good way to lift spirits and broaden friendships. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can find ourselves feeling persistently anxious, overwhelmed and sad, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, feeling agitated and hopeless. If these feelings last for a while, reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional.