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Top tips for Surviving the Holidays

Generally, the holidays are a time of family, friends, laughter and too much food. However, for some it can be a time of mixed emotions, stress and sadness.

This time of year, has the ability to bring up memories or difficult times, which can take a toll on our wellbeing. Understand that it’s ok to not be ok. Thinking you have to be happy can make this time of year even harder.

Feeling depressed, anxious or stressed at this time of year is not unusual – especially for those who have lost a loved one, are living abroad and away from family/friends or have stressful family encounters.

Here are some top tips for Surviving the Holidays:

Moderation is key

With dinners, Christmas parties and family gatherings booking up our weeks – it’s important to remember that eating and drinking may help your coping temporarily, but leads to feelings of guilt and stress.

Look after yourself

If you are feeling flat or down during this time of year, remember to take time out and do things you enjoy. These will help reduce anxiety and stress levels. Read a book, take a walk, meditate or listen to music.

Make sure you catch your Z’s

This time of year can be frantic. Make sure you try stick to a routine and get appropriate amounts of sleep so you can function at your potential.

Ask for help

If you do find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, or in a stressed state, reach out for help. Strong support networks are vital to being able to cope during challenging periods of our lives so it’s no different during the holidays. Reach out to friends, family, colleagues or Love Me Love You for assistance during challenging periods.

Focus on today not yesterday

Be present in the moment and try to avoid thinking about past experiences that bring up unwanted feelings. If you do start to feel overwhelmed, simply take a breathe and ground yourself in the present moment.

Stay connected

Make sure you spend time with family, friends or significant others that value you. If you think you will be alone these holidays and don’t want to be, try to volunteer somewhere. You will be appreciated by the people you help and you will feel better about yourself.

Take a walk

This time of year is busy for us all, but that’s no need to change your whole routine. Make sure you get out and exercise, even if it’s simply taking a walk.

Be realistic

This time of year will be far from perfect. Accept the imperfections and enjoy the little things.

While it is easy to put self-care on hold during this time of year, if you want to avoid feeling depressed, anxious or stressed, self-care must play a big role in your holiday season. Don’t change your habits or routines – just acknowledge, adapt and overcome the additional challenges that everyone experiences at this time of year.

Source: Linda Walter, Psychology Today. View Original Article