While the holidays are often a time for families to gather and celebrate life and renew hopes for a better future, they can also represent a very stressful time. As with any situation, preventive steps are the most effective way to deal with potential stressors. Many strategies can be helpful at this time including the following:
- Effective time management allows one to plan ahead and not save everything for the last minute when it becomes more stressful.
- Have realistic expectations and realize that long-standing problems are not magically corrected just because it’s the holidays.
- Try not to overdo it whether in regard to food, spending, staying awake, or anything else. Moderation is the watchword in all things.
- Know your limits and stay within them as it is very easy to try to do too much at this time.
- Focus on the spiritual and relational aspects of the holidays rather than materialistic ones.
- Realize that some depression is not unusual at this time and accept it for what it is. If it becomes more severe or pervasive, seek professional help.
- Save time for yourself in order to relax and recharge.
- Get outside yourself and try to do things to help other people.