Although the holiday season may require adjusted expectations, extra precautions, and creative ideas for celebrating this year, it is still the perfect time for connection, joy, gratitude and rest. Here are some techniques to help overcome holiday stressors, cope with feelings of anxiety, and make the most of this special time of year.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
It is normal and completely understandable to feel disappointed, upset or stressed about the holidays. Take a moment personally, or as a family, to acknowledge these feelings. Then, write down or discuss a few things that would make this holiday season extra special.
Hold on to Traditions (Or Make New Ones)
From family recipes to fuzzy pajamas, classic movies and festive playlists, there are plenty of creative ways to keep traditions going this year. Consider adapting a favorite activity, creating new traditions, and finding ways to inspire a sense of connection and gratitude.
Communicate Clearly and Respect Boundaries
Within immediate and extended family, as well as amongst friends, coworkers, and neighbors, there are a wide range of personal circumstances and concerns. Listen empathetically to others’ needs this holiday season, respect boundaries, and celebrate however feels most comfortable.
Watch Out for Holiday Stress Traps
Whether it’s turning to the cookie jar, splurging on an impulse buy, or mindlessly scrolling social media feeds, be mindful of what habits or behaviors may be your go-to in times of stress. One way to strengthen your stress response is by being intentional about self-care. Make it a holiday priority to get good quality sleep, enjoy a nutrient-rich diet, and maintain regular exercise.
Reach Out for Professional Mental Health Support
Everyone could use someone to talk to, and personalized support is available through your EAP. Reach out to ACI’s EAP to speak with a licensed mental health professional about any stress, anxiety or personal challenges that are affecting emotional health and well-being: 800.932.0034, firstname.lastname@example.org, or download the myACI Benefits mobile app.