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Mental Mondays: How To Manage Your Stress Levels This Holiday Season

Mental Mondays: How To Manage Your Stress Levels This Holiday Season



ingle Bells and Mariah Carey are officially having their annual moment, and we’re sure you know what comes with that: activities, activities, and even more activities! While Christmas is in and we are mostly pumped and expectant, there’s no denying that the holidays tend to up our stress levels. But we don’t blame you. With all the festivities going on, it’d be a miracle to journey through this season without breaking a sweat.

While we get stoked about the gifts, shopping, cooking, and events, it’s not out of place to add exhaustion to this long list. But there are ways to stay sane and make the best out of the bubbly holiday season without spreading thin, and that’s something to keep in mind.

How does the holiday season increase stress levels?

The holiday has a high link with stress, both mentally and physically. There’s undue pressure and a need to meet deadlines during this period — whether they’re self-inflicted or by the doing of others. In addition, some may also feel inadequate for flopping on the year’s goals, and this can easily take a toll on their mental health. This doesn’t exclude the stress from holiday shopping, traveling, and planning family gatherings. If we aren’t careful, we spend more time getting worked up about the holiday events that we miss out on the fun and joy the season can potentially offer.

Check out 5 practical tips to help you manage your stress levels this holiday season…

#1. Make plans


Leave nothing to chance, but dedicate a small percentage of your schedule to the spontaneity of the season. If you’re already stressed and still want to have a great time, have a schedule that works specifically for you. To be effective, don’t plan your whole day to the minutest detail. Include relaxation and commuting time, to eliminate the anxiety of not meeting your goals. This will help you prioritize your activities and get rid of less important activities.

#2. Check your expectations

Photo: Alex Green/Pexels

The spirit of Christmas hits, and from it exudes an unspoken expectation from our loved ones. To avoid disappointments, expect little but rather create your own memories. If you want to spend more time with family, check with them and align your plans. If you notice you have more free time than you’d want, map out activities to fill in the space. It could be volunteering to help others, striking a destination off your bucket list, or anything you find fulfilling. These activities would help you manage your stress level this holiday and beyond.

#3. Don’t cheat

Photo: Thirdman/Pexels

We often tend to abandon our healthy lifestyle this season. We postpone it to January and turn on full Detty-December mode. Because you’re in celebratory mode doesn’t mean you should adopt an unhealthy lifestyle. Be mindful of your alcohol intake, eat healthy meals, and stick to an exercise and sleep routine that works. Also, try to control your cheat days (if you have to have any), and fill yourself up with healthy meals before heading out for an event. This way, you’re not eating everything presented to you without restraints and there’s no room for regrets later.

#4. Schedule some ME time

Photo: Anna Shvets/Pexels

If you are interested in managing your stress levels this holiday, be deliberate about prioritizing yourself. Set aside time to exercise, meditate, take walks outdoors, or indulge in any relaxing activity that serves you. Family gatherings can be nostalgic and fun, but they can also be draining. You don’t need to wait till you’re showing signs of stress. Make time for yourself to breathe, relax, and recuperate. It’s a game-changer.

#5. Set boundaries

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Burnout is a whole thing, even more so during the celebratory season when we are off our routines and have different individuals crawling into our personal space. People pleasing should be the last thing on your list if you’re going to have your mental health intact. Learn to say no when necessary, and not take on more than you can handle at the time. This will protect you from burnout and is one of the healthy ways of managing stress levels this holiday.

A final word

The only way to maximize the essence of the season is to be intentional about your time, personal space, and mental health. You’re better off being in control of how things pan out but leaving enough room for positive surprises. If you’re an introvert but would love more company this holiday season, invite family and friends over or visit them at their place. You can also plan an outing with those closest to you. It’s the season of love, make the most of it.

Featured image: @shudufhadzomusida/Instagram 

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