Pressure can be a very unpleasant thing to experience during the holidays. It is not just about feeling like you have too much on your plate, but also constant pressure from others telling you what needs to be done and how it should look for everyone involved. Pressure makes us less resilient, which means any additional stresses are going into overdrive with no room left in reserve.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of the festive season, consider speaking to someone who can help with tips to manage stress.

 

How to deal with the anxiety of being alone during the festive season

Holidays throughout the year are different for everyone. But no matter how or what you celebrate, there is always one thing in common; spending time with loved ones.

So what are you supposed to do if you do not have family, friends, or a significant other to celebrate with?

1. Remember the positives in your life
You may feel lonely during the holidays, but it is important to remember that you are not actually alone. Remember your close relationships – no matter how far away they seem.

2. Acknowledge that feelings come and go
It is perfectly fine to feel sad or lonely during the holidays. The important thing to keep in mind is that these feelings will not last forever.

3. Practice healthy coping strategies
If you realize you are lonely and consciously decide to stop thinking about it for a couple of hours to let yourself recharge – that is a distraction. But if you instead downplay your emotions and try not to deal with them by throwing yourself into work or drinking too much alcohol – that is just avoiding the problem.
Indulge in a favorite activity, pamper yourself and take some time out.

How can you reset the festive season and experience it as a celebration rather than feeling as though you are carrying all this stress?

– Practice saying no; you may feel pressured to accept every invitation, but you probably do not need to. Rather than automatically saying yes, carefully consider each invitation. If you are unable to make it, politely decline due to other commitments.

– Prioritize self-care; it can be hard to fit in regular exercise during December, but you can still prioritize your wellbeing. Doing so will help withstand the pressure of this season and put you in a better position for giving back or celebrating with loved ones.

– Manage expectations; it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming we must meet other people’s expectations – even if doing so may cause financial strain. Try managing realistic goals rather than striving for unrealistic deadlines with no chance of success.

– Rethink traditions; while it may seem like traditions are meant to be followed, why not twist them? For instance, try scheduling one family’s dinner on different days. Similarly, with gift-giving – you could opt for an adventurous family getaway rather than buying gifts every year.

– Monitor your emotions; family dynamics are often at the forefront during festive functions and can be especially challenging when alcohol consumption is involved. If you experience conflict or difficulty with a particular person or family member, try to stay light-hearted in your interactions. Avoid contentious topics of conversation if possible. And keep comments devoid so as not to escalate tension within group settings.