Steps to a Stress-free Holiday

Make this season merry and bright

Steps to a stress-free holiday

‘Tis the season to be … stressed. We may not like to admit it, but the holidays can sometimes bring out the worst in us. Whether we’re coping with memories of loved ones who are gone or trying to squeeze in one last family gathering, reality rarely lives up to our expectations.

Hope Walker, R.N., BSN, is a psychiatric palliative care nurse at Norton Healthcare. Here are her top 15 tips for coping with holiday stress and depression:

1. Create realistic expectations for the holiday season.
2. Set realistic goals for yourself.
3. Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
4. Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
5. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do – don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to make it to every holiday gathering.
6. Do not put all your energy into just one day – spread out holiday responsibilities over several days.
7. Live “in the moment” and enjoy the present.
8. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the “good old days” of the past.
9. If you are lonely, try volunteering some of your time to help others.
10. Limit your consumption of alcohol. Excessive drinking will increase feelings of depression.
11. Add something new to your holiday celebrations.
12. Spend time with supportive and caring people.
13. Make time for yourself!
14. Let others share the responsibility of holiday tasks.
15. Keep track of your holiday spending. Overspending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over. Extra bills with little budget to pay them can lead to further stress and depression.

Make this year a holiday to remember!


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