Taking a Holiday from the Holidays

Anonymous: The holiday season is always a stressful time for me, and this year the anxiety seems worse. I’m dreading Christmas. I’m also feeling anxious about the New Year and the workload that comes with it. How can I get through December without melting down?

Suggestion: The holiday season is stressful for many people. As we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of December, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a cycle of anxiety, deadlines and dread. 

It’s also easy to put other people’s needs above your own this time of year, according to Michael Anhorn, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Toronto chapter. He recommends focusing on your own needs by getting back to the basics of self-care and making sure you’re maintaining a regular schedule of eating and sleeping. 

Here are a few more tips to get through the holidays and into the New Year:

Know when to step back. It’s important to recognize when you need to prioritize yourself. Consider having open and honest conversations about your expectations and workload during the holiday season. Setting realistic expectations can help reduce stress for everyone involved.

Self-care. You need to look after yourself always, but definitely when you’re stressed out. Be sure to set aside time for hobbies, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or simply taking breaks throughout the day to recharge.

Maintain a routine. Amidst the festive chaos, try to maintain as normal a routine as possible. This includes prioritizing proper nutrition, getting enough sleep and setting aside time for exercise. By sticking to a routine, you can help minimize the impact of holiday-related disruptions on your mental well-being.

Seek support. Remember you don’t have to face this alone. If your usual self-care strategies aren’t working or if the anxiety becomes overwhelming, reach out for help. This can include talking to a trusted colleague, asking a friend out for coffee or looking for a professional to talk to.

Anhorn encourages people to try the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program, a free in-person or virtual therapy for people experiencing depression, anxiety and anxiety-related conditions, or CMHA’s BounceBack program, a free program for people 15 and older to help manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.