Blog Post

Navigating the Holiday Hustle – Anxiety Therapy

It’s that time of year again when many individuals begin complaining of their overwhelming feelings of “there’s so much to get done before…” If you can relate to these feelings, this blog is for you. We wanted to take some time and write a blog to help individuals normalize their feelings of overwhelm and suggest a few tips on best ways to manage the holiday stress. Anxiety therapy may help reduce the overwhelming feelings that this holiday season can present.

What does the holiday season mean for you?

There are many types of meanings surrounding the holidays and is dependent upon cultural norms, values, and childhood experiences. For some individuals, it’s a time to recapture fond memories from the past, create new memories with loved ones, take time off from work, listen to holiday music, plan parties, focus on gift giving ideas, or leisurely stroll in the malls. You may relate to one or more of these rituals. Whatever it means to you, focus on envisioning the best outcome for you that will bring you joy. Avoid trying to meet others’ expectations during the holidays.

Commitments & Pressure

In between shopping for gifts, planning various gatherings, attending holiday parties and/or events, and managing other commitments, you may begin to feel overwhelmed and pressured. The holiday season begins at the start of October in preparation of Halloween. Time is not on your side. You begin to feel that you are unable to keep up. November is here and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There’s so much to figure out…who is hosting, creating a menu, what is everyone signing up to bring, making sure your home feels warm with Fall colors, signing up for your child’s Thanksgiving feast at school, etc. The list does not seem to end, and you are beginning to feel like you are drowning. Maybe something has fallen through the cracks. Did you forget to … ?

Practical Tips:

  1. Set Realistic Expectations – Everything does not have to be perfect! It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Something may not go according to your plan and that’s okay. This is the time to embrace imperfections and remind yourself that you are human. Humans were designed to make mistakes and not be perfect. Focus on meaningful moments rather than striving for an idealized version of the season.
  2. Prioritizing Self-Care – There is no doubt that this is a busy time of the year. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Take a walk, read a book, practice mindfulness, yoga, exercise, go see a movie, pray, body massage, facial, bubble bath, or whatever you enjoy. Just make sure you schedule it on your calendar and prioritize during this holiday season. Self-care is a process to recharge yourself to keep on going. This may prevent burnout and overwhelming feelings.
  3. Establish a Budget – It’s very easy to get wrapped up on purchasing gifts on-line and/or at the stores. Before heading out or getting on your computer to buy gifts, establish a budget that provides you with peace and comfort. Consider homemade gifts or Secret Santa to reduce the financial burden. The most meaningful gifts often come from your heart, not your wallet.
  4. Plan and Organize – Create a holiday plan that includes a schedule for shopping, cooking, decorating, and socializing. Break down the tasks into smaller steps and start early to avoid last minute rushes. Utilize organizational tools such as calendars or apps. Stay on top of deadlines and commitments to reduce the overwhelming feelings.
  5. Just Say No – It’s okay if you decline a social gathering, especially if there are two events scheduled in one day. Check in with yourself and see if you have the bandwidth to attend three events during one weekend or one will suffice and fill your cup. Setting boundaries is crucial during this time of year.
  6. Practice Mindfulness – Practice mindfulness in your daily routines. It can be deep breathing exercises, prayer, meditation, or yoga. Mindfulness can help alleviate stress and bring a sense of calm to your holiday experience.

 

The holiday season is a time to celebrate love, gratitude, and connection. Managing your stress through realistic expectations, self-care, and intentional planning may lead to a more enjoyable and meaningful holiday season. Remember, it’s not about perfection, but the joy found in shared moments and creating memories with loved ones.

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