About The Author
RN Quality Improvement Coordinator
As the song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Or is it?
While the holidays can be a joyous time spent celebrating with family and friends, it can also be a time of increased worry and stress. In Wisconsin, we’re fighting colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours as well as increased expectations to have a perfect holiday. There are a lot of demands on our time which means putting our own needs on the back burner.
This time of year there is also a lot of pressure to keep up with our peers and society’s expectations. Along with seeing what our family and friends are doing to deck the halls, we are bombarded with images and advertising in the media. There are tons of articles and images filled with ideas of how to decorate your home, make a delicious meal or buy the perfect gift. All of these outward things can overrule common sense on how much you can realistically do as well as how much you can afford to spend.
To help combat holiday stress and depression, consider the tips below.
- Set realistic expectations – Many of us feel pressure to aim for perfection during the holiday season. A better strategy is to accept situations for what they are and be thankful for what you have and the loved ones in your life. Avoid trying to live up to others’ expectations.
- Stick to a budget – It’s easy to go overboard when shopping for gifts, decorations and even food. To avoid paying for the holidays into the New Year, decide how much you can afford to spend before the holiday season begins and stick to lists while shopping.
- Don’t be afraid to turn down invites – To avoid an overloaded social calendar, only accept invites to gatherings you really want to attend. And when spending time with others, make sure it’s with supporting, caring people.
- Take care of yourself – This includes getting enough sleep, sticking with your normal exercise routine and eating and drinking in moderation.
- Consider volunteering – Take a step back and look at what really matters. It may make you feel better to remember that even if things aren’t perfect for you, you can still help someone less fortunate.
If you need help managing stress and depression during the holiday season, Network Health can help. All members have access to health coaches who can help them develop a plan to reduce stress as well as provide direction toward additional health resources. Network Health also offers an annual Health Risk Assessment. Completing the assessment is a great first step in identifying areas where a health coach can help.