The holiday season, often depicted as a time of happiness and togetherness, can also lead to stress and anxiety for many people. Balancing family gatherings, festive responsibilities, and the quest for perfection can impact our mental well-being. At Box Elder Behavioral Health, we understand the significance of maintaining emotional stability during what could be considered a stressful time for you. Let’s dive into some ways to navigate the holidays!
Setting realistic expectations is helpful in reducing stress. The pressure to create a flawless celebration can be overwhelming, so it's important to let go of unrealistic ideals. Embrace imperfections as part of the season's beauty and focus on creating meaningful moments rather than pursuing perfection. In my house, we celebrate the season with our beloved Elf on the Shelf (lovingly named Scout!) . While I see other moms on social media coming up with elaborate, creative shenanigans for their elves, I have to remind myself that it is ok if our elf simply moves from one shelf to another. My kids are happy nonetheless!
Establishing boundaries is another important aspect of reducing holiday stress. While it's great to celebrate with others, it's also important to openly communicate your limits and learn to say 'no' when needed. This ensures that you have the time and energy to enjoy the festivities without burning out. Setting financial boundaries can help, too. It can be so tempting to spoil your loved ones with gifts, but it is never worth risking your financial wellbeing. If I’m being completely honest here, I do not even remember everything that I was given last year. However, I can tell you that I have saved each and every handmade ornament I have ever received from my family members. I treasure those more than anything because of the time and thought that went into making them!
Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine is a powerful tool for managing stress. Whether through deep-breathing exercises or meditation, mindfulness techniques can ground you in the present moment, alleviating stress and promoting a sense of calm. However, if your house is a busy hive like mine, finding moments of quiet can be tough. Physical activity is another well-known stress reliever, so it's important to stay active during the holiday season. Whether it's a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a quick workout, find an activity that you enjoy and make time for it regularly. Exercise not only releases tension but also boosts mood-enhancing endorphins, contributing to an overall sense of well-being.
If holiday stress becomes overwhelming, seeking professional support is a valuable option. Our team of dedicated therapists at Box Elder Behavioral Health is here to provide a safe space for exploring emotions, developing coping strategies, and gaining insights into managing stress during this challenging time. We believe that everyone deserves a holiday season filled with joy and peace, and we are committed to supporting you on your journey toward a more serene and fulfilling holiday experience. From everyone here at Box Elder Behavioral Health, happy holidays! May your season be filled with lots of relaxation!