By Coach Mike Fenton
We normally think of the holidays as a fun time of the year, a time to spend with family and friends, a time for good cheer and the giving of presents. However the holidays are not always fun for everyone, it can be a lonely, depressing, financially stressful time when it is not uncommon to see the use of drugs and alcohol increase.
There are a number of reasons the holidays can sometimes become stressful and in some cases depressing. Perhaps the loss of a loved one or the financial burden that can come along with buying the food and gifts for family and friends makes us stressed and or depressed. It is during times like this the fun can sometimes turn into work.
So what can we do to help us during these times? Well one of the first things we need to do is to identify and acknowledge those feelings. In the case of a loved one that has been lost it is perfectly okay to have moments of sadness; we can’t force ourselves to be happy just because it is the holidays. We can also reach out to others, perhaps by attending a religious or social event. Volunteering is another good way to uplift yourself; by doing something good for others.
The holiday season is continually changing, kids grow up, there is a divorce etc…we cannot let ourselves get wrapped up in the need for everything to be the same or to be perfect. If there is a change in things find new ways to celebrate the holidays. In some cases there may be a need to set aside personal differences as well. We can eliminate the financial stress by deciding how much we can spend beforehand creating a budget, and sticking to it. Another option is to give homemade gifts or maybe some ones favorite dessert.
We can make things easier on ourselves when we plan ahead as well, when I am going to shop, when I am going to bake, when I am going to be where all helps to relieve holiday stress. It’s also okay to say no, trying to be all things to all people is a very common stress inducer. We get so wrapped up in trying to be all things that we forget about taking care of ourselves.
We must also remember to maintain our healthy habits; things such as over indulgence are good at making us feel guilty. Eating a healthy snack can help you stay away from the sweets. In addition it is important to make sure we get plenty of rest. Be sure to take time for yourself as well, by clearing your mind it will be easier for you to focus. You can do this by going for a walk or practicing meditation or by spending some time in prayer.
If you need professional help, get it. Sometimes things can be out of our reach to handle on our own. Take control of the holidays don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.
I am a certified health coach who inspires, empowers & helps people create desired lifestyle changes that will give them healthier alternatives to prescription medications. With my Total Wellness Health Coaching Program you can decrease and or eliminate your need for prescription medications. Your body is designed to heal itself! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free health breakthrough session today.