The holiday season can be stressful for millions of people. Not only is there pressure to travel and purchase gifts, but there is more to success than usual. It can cause people to spend several months in an ongoing state of stress or flooding. The good news is that there are things people can do to help beat the blues and fight stress throughout the season.
“Things can be especially stressful this year for some people, due to supply chain and epidemic issues,” explains Katie Sandler, a personal development and career coach. “It is especially important at this time of year to keep the stress under control so that you can enjoy the holiday season, and go out into the new year feeling fresh.”
According to National Institutes of Health, we all feel stress occasionally, but if it lasts for weeks, it can adversely affect your health. Stress can make you sick, as well as lead to unhealthy choices, such as overeating, smoking or drinking alcohol, or not sleeping properly.
Some of the things that people can do to help maintain emotional health throughout the holiday season include:
- Trigger detection. Determine what are the things that tend to knock you down or stress you the most. What can you do to minimize them or become more durable? Maybe you can delegate, hire help, choose delivery services, etc. Also, keep in mind that if saying yes to every invitation you receive this holiday will put you under a lot of stress, it’s time to learn to say no.
- Volunteer. When we spend time helping others, we tend to forget about our problems, or we gain a new perspective. Altruism leads to a sense of emotional well-being. There are always organizations around the holidays that need volunteers, so turn to a few hours. Whether it helps in the kitchen, sending meals to the elderly or reading holiday stories to preschoolers, it will help make you happy.
- Make time to rest. Holidays can be a busy time that leaves some people feeling drained. Try to minimize this by creating lists, planning things and always scheduling. It is important to take time to relax, unwind and recharge at this time of year.
- Find a way out. There are many healthy things you can do to help reduce stress and help your brain stay in a good place. Try meditating, hiking, spending time in nature, keeping a diary or learning something new. If you are engaged in learning qigong or knitting, for example, your mind will stay focused on these things, instead of stressing during the holidays.
- Keep that in perspective. Often, our thoughts beautify things and make it look much worse than it really is – hello catastrophic thinking. We tend to worry about many things that never happen, which takes us out of our energy and mood for no reason. When your mood drops during the holiday, get to its root, tap into it if necessary and keep what is happening in perspective.
- Choose happiness. Happiness is a choice. Every day, we have the ability to choose to be happy, but too often, we focus instead on the things that bring us stress. Start and end each day with gratitude for another day. Focus on the things you are grateful for, instead of focusing on any of the negative things or stressors that are happening around you.
“At first, doing these things seems like work. It’s something you need to remind yourself and work on,” Sandler added. “However, the more you live your life this way, the easier they become, and soon it’s like a second nature to smile to be less stressed and go live in an emotionally good place. Our emotional health is essential to overall health and our success in life. We must cultivate healthy thinking.”
Sandler has worked with many people to help them identify a plan for personal achievement, take steps to reach goals and identify areas that need to be worked on. It provides people with meaningful tools that they can use to bring calm and insight into their lives. In addition to working with individuals, it offers prestigious impact retreats.
By Katie Sandler
Sandler has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in mental health counseling, has a strong foundation in attention-based stress reduction, and has worked in hospitals and private practice. She previously spent time as a research assistant while at Johns Hopkins, focusing on life goals.
Katie Sandler is a popular impact trainer and provides health and wealth training and personal and professional development. It offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and coaching opportunities for organizational impact. It focuses on helping people become more successful so they can live on purpose and make an impact in our world. For more information about Katie or her services, visit: https://katiesandler.com/.
# # #
National Institutes of Health. Learn to manage stress. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001942.htm