I’m a morning person. When I was younger, I was particularly perky and very self-satisfied by all I could accomplish before 9 am. Part of my morning routine was an early morning check-in with my best friend, also an ambitious early riser.
One year, about a week before Christmas, I called my friend. The person that answered was practically babbling, then manic, then monotone in the course of a 15 minute chat. I discovered she had barely slept in days. The pressure of decorating, shopping, wrapping, mailing, and trying to make everyone’s holiday dreams come true had nearly done her in! It’s difficult to fall asleep when the to-do list keeps spinning in your head! Of course, I talked to her about self-care, getting more sleep, and reminded her that perfection was not a holiday mandate. The next morning my exhausted friend was seen waiting for the doors to open outside of Target!
This is an all too familiar scenario for people during the holidays. I too have fallen victim, being fully and completely humbled by hosting 15 family members over 5 days at Thanksgiving.
Of course, I read everything I can about anxiety and here is what I have learned.
A study by the American Psychological Association says 38% of people polled reported that their stress goes up significantly during the holiday season. For many, navigating the holidays is as perilous as walking through a valley of landmines. Even more problematic, it’s difficult to provide a map on how to walk through the holly jolly season. What makes each of us stressed or mentally distressed is very personal. We also know depression tends to peak and suicide escalates during the busy winter months.
Now imagine if you already have an anxiety disorder. The pressure to be “happy” can be completely overwhelming. “Ho Ho Ho” becomes a “Hell no!” Here are some of the tools I’ve learned that I’d like to share!
How to Survive the Holiday Stress
Don’t Avoid Holiday Gatherings
Isolating never helps, but if you’re stressing over time, set limits on how long you will spend at each event.
Make Reasonable To-do Lists
Give yourself a pass if you don’t get them all done. The point of the list is to make you feel less scattered
Really, the Presents, the Food, the Decorations Don’t Matter.
What your family wants is a happy, healthy you!
Practice Self-Care and Moderation
Don’t over-do the sweets and alcohol. Exercise, sleep, and take “me-time”.
Create your Own Traditions and Focus on What is Meaningful to You
Don’t be forced into someone else’s idea of what the holidays should be.
If you Feel out of Control or Scared, Ask for Help!
Therapists, doctors, friends, family, community support groups, local and national mental health organizations are all solid options for help. You never have to do the holidays alone.
So what can we do? I may do less in the mornings. but now I have tools to help me survive during the stress of the holiday season. I’m going to lean on my people, and I am committed to letting the love of family and the reason for the season be my focus. Ho Ho Ho!
– Kim Vincenty, inspiration behind our FEARLESS Collection
A few years ago, Kim Vincenty, a Board Member of OCD Jacksonville, called Patti, Natural Life Founder & CEO, to talk about the possibility of partnering up to “do something together”. After a lot of time, attention and hard work, the FEARLESS Collection was created! We designed the products we knew our customers would love and Kim shared the most powerful sentiments that she knew would really help people struggling with Anxiety Disorders.
Some of our favorite treasures that help us survive the hustle & bustle of the holiday season!
We hope these tips for how to survive the stress of the holiday season help you! Wake up to an inspirational and relatable Chirp in your email or on our Instagram everyday! Follow us on Instagram here or sign up here to receive a daily Chirp to your inbox! You’ll be the first to see new treasures, fun promotions and quotes that motivate you as you start your day!