Stress can ruin your job search and your holiday celebrations. It is best to prevent stress in the first place rather than to have to stop, rethink what you are doing, and regroup. The key is to be realistic about your feelings and what you can accomplish during this time, planning ahead, and seeking support to stave off stress and depression.
Mayo Clinic Staff offer the following tips for coping with stress and depression and the possible outcomes to your physical and mental health during the holiday season.
Acknowledge your feelings. If sometime difficult is happening in your life, please realize that it is normal to feel sadness and grief. It is okay to take time to grieve and express your feelings. You should not try to force yourself to be happy just because it is the holiday season.
Reach out. Seek out community, religious, or other event for support and companionship if you are feeling lonely or isolated. Also, volunteering to help others is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your network.
Be realistic. The holidays do not have to be perfrect or to be a repeat of previous years. As our families grow and change so will traditions and rituals. Choose a few to hold on to but be open to creating new traditions and rituals. For example, if you cannot be with someones you love, use Skype or Facetime to share the holiday.
Set aside differences. Accept other people for who they are even if they do not live up to your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. Be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are that they too may be feeling the effect of holiday stress and depression.
Stick to a budget. Decide how much money you can afford to spend before you go gift or food shopping. Then stick to your budget no matter what you find. Avoid impulse purchases.
Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends, and other activities. Plan you menus and make a shopping list so that you remember everything you need. Do not be afraid to ask for help from family or friends.
Learn to say no. Saying yes when you want to say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Do not overextend yourself. Friends and colleagues will understand if you cannot participate in every project or activity.
Do not abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence will add to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before going to holiday parties so that you do not go overboard on sweets, cheese, or drinks. Get plenty of rest. Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
Take a breather. Remember to make time for yourself. Spending even a few minutes alone, without distraction, will refresh and energize you so that you can attend to everything you need to do. Read a book, get a message or facial, listen to soothing music, or take a walk in the moonlight to clear your mind, slow your breathing, and restore your inner calm.
Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts you may still find yourself feeling sad or anxious, unable to attend to daily chores, or shying away from social activities, seek professional help from your doctor or a mental health professional.
Do not let the holidays become something that you dread or what to avoid. Take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays.
Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.
Article from Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle. Viewed on November 20, 2016.
Now, get to it . . .
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