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A stress-free holiday season is not impossible
No doubt you are busy with “other duties assigned” along with your typical daily stressors. Knowing that our duties generally increase during this time; how we can we choose to stay stress free this holiday season? The Mayo Clinic and the American Psychological Association have simple coping tips for stress and depression this holiday season.
One of the first of the Mayo Clinic's tips states to acknowledge your feelings. This means that it is human to take a minute and feel the way we feel. If feelings persist or signs of depression occur, the Mayo Clinic suggests to reach out. We can reach out by contacting friends, family, and/or a trained professional to assist with depression or stress. Another suggestion is to volunteer or seek out community events during the holiday season. Several local nonprofit organizations conduct seasonal events that encourage volunteerism.
When expecting family and friends over, the Mayo Clinic recommends being realistic and set aside differences. We choose our friends, but cannot choose our family members — that being said the above recommendations are relevant to familial issues. Consider empathy when family members begin to frustrate you and try to see where they are coming from before a disagreement escalates.
Regarding gifts, parties, and other obligations that cause budgetary strains, sticking to a budget, planning ahead, and learning to say no are keys to balancing (Mayo Clinic). Many local stores will match prices and provide holiday sales. We can take advantage of these marketing incentives. Also, some families conduct gift exchanges where they purchase and exchange just one gift. This gift can also have a monetary limit so that going overboard is not an issue.
Additionally, taking a breather is a way for us to collect our thoughts and put our holiday stress and depression in perspective. Consider the positive individuals, items, times that you have in your life.
Also, the American Psychological Association (APA) has similar tips for handling holiday stress. Some of these include: taking time for yourself, have realistic expectations, and have realistic expectations. Other tips include volunteering, remembering what is important, and seeking support.
Finally, I ask you to consider how you plan to make your holiday season stress free. I encourage you to consider the Mayo Clinic and APA's tips this holiday season.
Aryca Arizaga Marron is the professor of family studies/psychology at Arizona Western College. She can be reached at email@example.com.