This time of year is hectic. It’s super fun, joyous and the best time of the year, as the song goes, but it’s also stressful and for many who may not have family nearby or who have lost a loved one, it can be a downright downer.
Holiday blues, stress and anxiety can get to the best of us, especially moms who already have a lot on their plates.
I recently did a podcast episode with a friend of mine is who is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Chelsea Johnson holds a masters in clinical psychology and has experience working with clients dealing with psychosis, anxiety, mood disorders, addiction, and trauma, among many other difficulties.
She came on The Highlight Positive Podcast and shared a whole bunch of great suggestions to help us all navigate the holiday season and holiday invites, and deal with holiday blues, stress or anxiety.
I felt like we as moms could especially benefit from these tips. Here are some discussed in the podcast.
1- It’s ok to say no to invites and not have a reason why.
2- Consume alcohol, sugar, and caffeine in moderation. Stay in your routine, especially if you are prone to depression.
3- If your family stresses you out, have a code word or look you’ll give your significant other or friend when you are ready to leave. If you just need a break, take a walk after dinner, leave for coffee and come back, or just go into the bathroom and do some deep breathing. Don’t reach for more alcohol or sweets (see #2) to cope.
4 – Do reach out for help if you are feeling down or overwhelmed. Therapy is self-care! It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. It’s a place to vent and to talk it out. Just by saying things out loud, your brain can process it in a different way. See if your insurance covers it. If not, there are private practices that offer therapy on a sliding scale depending on what you can afford.
5- Take the pressure off of gift giving. Gift cards or even cash are just as good as things. Or go for experiences over things, those are more memorable in the end anyway! If you have a large family you could do a gift exchange where everyone gets one person to buy a gift for. My husband and I don’t even do gifts for the holidays, we decide to use the money towards a vacation of our choice the next year.
6- Make time for you! Recharge and relax. Do a day of pampering or whatever it is that fills your cup, that could be going for a hike or just spending time alone. Tell those who want to buy you gifts to give you the gift of babysitting so that you can have some “me” time.
For more tips and tricks, or for a boost of positivity and inspiration, listen to Highlight Positive on iTunes, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts. I started this podcast a few months ago as part of my mission to highlight the good in the world and spread positivity. I’d love to hear what you think!
Happy (less stress) Holidays and I hope these suggestions help you as much as they have helped me in dealing with that dreaded holiday invite.