Yesterday I started writing about being alone at the holidays and how that makes you feel. Stressed? Depressed? Down? Blue? Sad? I gave you 5 tips to help prevent holiday stress and depression. Here are 5 more:
6. Plan ahead. Set aside certain days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan menus and make a shopping list. That will help prevent the last-minute “oops, I forgot to buy vanilla” crisis. Planning a party? Ask for help for prep and cleanup if you want to. I kind of like to do this part myself, because I know where everything is. Sometimes I do a potluck also, which is always fun.
7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime (Scrooge?!), try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so you don’t overindulge. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
9. Take a breather. Make time for yourself. Just 15 minutes alone may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that will clear your mind, slow your breathing and restore your inner calm.
10. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
(Check out www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress )
And HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL, and to all a good night!