Mental Health

Coping with holiday season stress and anxiety

By January 8, 2021 No Comments

holiday stress and anxietyAnother festive season has been and gone. Dreams of chilling out on the beach were dashed by new regulations and most of us had to learn to deal with unexpected holiday season stress and anxiety. That doesn’t mean that it’s the end of what looks set to be a long summer holiday! For some, an extended summer holiday is the best news in the world. For others, it’s a time of great stress.

This year, especially after the year we had in 2020, people seem to be feeling particularly anxious about what’s ahead of them. Let’s face it, 2020 was an ‘ugly’ year with so many changes in the way we live our lives, thanks to COVID-19.

Firstly, the coronavirus has affected the economy and so many families are feeling the financial strain. Secondly, new, stricter lockdown regulations mean that you won’t be able to do all of the usual things you enjoy during your summer vacation – like partying with friends, going to the beach or eating out.

Are you feeling less than enthusiastic about the rest of the holiday?

Here are some tips on coping with holiday anxiety:

1. Stop comparing yourself

If you’re feeling down in the dumps, the worst thing you can do is log onto instagram and begin comparing your life to everyone else. You’ll just get FOMO, and feel jealous and resentful of people who seem to be having a better time than you. Besides, you do know that a lot of what is posted on social media is highly filtered to show only the good, and it’s not a true representation of life, right?

2. Dig deep to discover your real values

On the surface, you may think that your summer holidays should be all about non-stop socialising and living your best life. But when you think about it, is this REALLY what’s important? No. What makes the festive season and long summer holiday so great is the time spent connecting with family and friends. And you can do that even if you can’t go clubbing or have the huge family gatherings that you are used to.

Maintaining those connections is so important, and even with social distancing and abiding by other lockdown regulations, you can still make it happen. Keep any gatherings at home small and limited to immediate family. Don’t go out in crowds with your friends – instead, invite a couple of people to your place to hang out by the pool. Stick to the same group of friends throughout the holiday. Better yet, organise Zoom events like Friday sundowners so that everyone can feel connected, but stay safe in their own homes.

3. Take inventory, make changes

If festive anxiety is making every day unbearable, try taking an inventory of your life. This means looking at the good, the bad, and deciding where you can make changes. A gratitude list can help you to count your blessings and realise that things aren’t as bad as you think.

If your inventory reveals that there are some things you truly aren’t happy about, then put in the action to change them (or at least change your perspective).

4. Know when to ask for help

There’s a difference between feeling sad and being depressed. If you can’t ‘snap out of’ feeling blue every day, then it’s time to ask for help. Speak to your parents, trusted friends or even your doctor. There’s no reason to go it alone – be kind to yourself and get the help you need!

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