Behavioral Health Service Tips to Manage Holiday Stress

November 23, 2020 at 5:00 AM
Behavioral health services help manage holiday stress.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous occasion spent with close friends and beloved family. However, for far too many people, the holiday season brings with it unwanted stress. Whether it’s financial hardships, planning elaborate seasonal events, or simply being overwhelmed by advertising that sets unrealistic expectations, there are numerous triggers this time of year.

Luckily, there are simple solutions you can use to manage your stress and truly enjoy the holiday season. If you’re worried about your emotional health this year, behavioral health service experts have found great success in helping people manage their stress with the following strategies.

How to Cope with Holiday Stress

1. Cognitive Rehearsals

When faced with stressful situations, people have a tendency to visualize the worst possible outcome, which only exasperates the issue. An easy way to avoid doing this during the holidays is to mentally prepare for the upcoming experiences. Cognitively rehearse how various possible situations could unfold and how you should react, so you’re better prepared to handle the stressful events.

2. Stay Social

According to behavioral health service providers, social interaction is imperative to emotional and mental health. That has been made more difficult this holiday season with the ongoing pandemic forcing people to remain socially isolated. There are ways to stay social while still adhering to CDC guidelines, though. Reach out to loved ones via text, phone calls, or video chats to alleviate stress and work through any issues you’re facing.

3. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

Studies have shown that people who have a healthy and balanced diet are typically better equipped to manage stress, but eating well becomes more complicated during the holidays. Between the interruptions in your daily routine and the plethora of delicious holiday food available, many people stray from their diet and overeat this time of year. That only makes problems with stress worse for individuals. Make a conscious effort to incorporate healthy options in your holiday meals and monitor how much you’re eating to manage your stress levels better.

4. Remain Active

Regular exercise is directly linked to the healthy management of stress. That’s because working out releases chemicals in the blood that improve mood and make you feel more relaxed. With many gyms still closed because of the pandemic and the cold weather settling in, exercising over the holidays can seem challenging. However, even simple acts such as climbing stairs, doing push-ups, and yoga help reduce stress, and they can all be done from the comfort of your own home.

5. Set Realistic Expectations

Seasonal advertising, social media, and holiday movies create unrealistic expectations for the holiday season, and unfortunately, those expectations often bleed over into real life. That’s a common cause of the stress behavioral health service providers treat this time of year. You can mitigate those concerns by having truthful conversations with your friends and family about what they can expect from you this year. Letting people know what to expect in terms of gift exchanges, travel availability, and how much time you can spend with them beforehand ensures everyone is on the same page and reduces the chance of stressful triggers affecting your emotional health.

Help is available to manage your holiday stress.

Here at Outreach Wellness, we understand how stressful the holiday season can be for many individuals. That’s why we’re proud to offer our behavioral health services that are designed to help you protect your emotional wellbeing. We’ll teach you the strategies and tips needed to reduce depressive symptoms and manage the stresses of your life. Learn more by visiting us online.