How To Stress Less During the Holidays

Whether or not you, a friend, or a family member are dealing with a mental health issue, here are some tips to reduce stress during the holidays.

Make yourself a priority and identify what you really want to do.
For instance, you might want to spend the entire day with your family or just stop in for dessert. Make the amount of time you spend with your family a choice rather than an obligation. Make a choice that will help you to relax a bit.Don’t overschedule and attend too many events in a row. Politely turn down some invitations. If you’re hosting a party, ask for help. There’s no need to stress yourself out in jammed malls shopping for gifts. Do your shopping online.
Plan ahead for emergencies.
Make sure you have enough of your prescription medication to get you through the holidays. Contact your doctor now if you don’t. If you feel you need extra therapy sessions, contact your therapist about availability. Ask a close family member or friend if they will be available during the holidays in case you need them for something.

Plan a timeout when stress strikes.

Your “strategic retreat” from a stressful gathering may be anything from walking the dog to getting tea at a café to listening to soothing music to having a good cry. After your retreat, you can decide whether the healthier choice is to return to the get-together or go home.

Avoid alcohol
Alcohol can interfere with medication and exacerbate symptoms. It also might spark an altercation or two.

Laugh—a lot!