1.Learn to say no: This might be one of the harder ones for most. We may have a multitude of holiday events that we are invited to but this doesn’t mean that we have to attend each of them. If just the thought of too many events has you feeling drained, this could be a sign that you should limit the amount of parties you attend.
2. Set expectations: We all have a different level of holiday cheer that we are comfortable with. Try focussing your energy and attention to events and details that are most likely to help you throughout the season. If you’re looking to expand into new territories, set realistic and attainable goals during the season. For example, instead of trying to do everything at once, break things down into daily or weekly goals.
3. Slide into the topic: Holiday time is usually a good time for reigniting friendships and checking in with distant family. We can plan ahead on how we choose to respond to certain topics. If there’s something that you would rather not discuss, you may want to plan how to change the topic to something you would be more comfortable discussing at length. Similarly, you can decide how much information you want to divulge. This can change from person to person since our relationship might differ from one person to the next.
4. Set a schedule - Find time to take a short breather. Does the dog need to be walked? Need a drink refresher? Want to catch up with someone you haven’t talked to in a while? These might be just some of the reasons you can change your scenery and take a break for a moment. Remember, it’s all about finding ways in which you might be more comfortable in situations that might make you feel a little more uncomfortable.
5. Have a post holiday routine - set a schedule of something to do after the holidays are over. This doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. The goal here is to create something to look forward to after the holidays. Returning to a normative schedule during and after the holidays can also be very helpful for our mental health.
Megan Bowling, M.A., LMFT
Megan Bowling, M.A., LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has been in the mental health field for more than ten years. Megan's specialties include: anxiety, trauma, life changes, mood, relationships, and school challenges.
Megan Bowling, M.A., LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been in the mental health field for more than ten years and is passionate about sharing mental health wellness strategies.