The holidays are a special time when we come together with our families and friends, but for many, they can actually be incredibly stressful. The fact that it’s supposed to be a “happy” time may only further compound the way you’re feeling, adding a layer of guilt on top of the blues.
If that’s you, you’re not alone. This is actually far more common than you might think. The American Psychological Association found that 38% of people find that their stress levels increase during the holiday season.
This is why it's super important to remember to take care of our minds and bodies during the holidays, particularly during a time when we’re overly focused on others. In this blog, we'll talk about why our feelings might change during the holidays and how we can lessen these symptoms and take care of ourselves during this time of year.
Holidays are a time of joy, love, and togetherness. But along with the fun and laughter, they can sometimes bring unexpected stress. This can occur for a number of reasons. Let's dive deeper into understanding what causes holiday stress and how we can deal with it.
- High Expectations: We often want everything to be perfect during the holidays. From meals to gifts to family gatherings, we might feel a lot of pressure to make things just right. This can cause us to worry, especially if things don’t go as planned.
- Busy Schedules: There's so much to do! Shopping, cooking, visiting friends and family, and attending holiday events can make our days super packed. With so much going on, we might feel rushed or like there's not enough time.
- Feeling Left Out: Sometimes holidays can remind us of loved ones who are no longer with us, loved ones we can’t be with, or of times when things were different. This can make us feel lonely or sad.
- Money Worries: Buying gifts, traveling, and hosting events can cost a lot. Worrying about spending too much money or going over a budget can add to our stress.
- Family Dynamics: While it's awesome to spend time with family, it can also be a bit tricky, particularly in divorced families where step-parents, step-siblings, and extended families are all together at once! Different personalities and old family tensions might come up, leading to disagreements or hard feelings. Just thinking about the possibility of this happening can be enough to stress you out.
Remember, it's normal to feel a mix of emotions during the holidays. There are even songs that express sadness about the holidays! But by understanding what causes stress, we can find ways to take care of ourselves and enjoy the season to the fullest!
The holiday season, while filled with joy and festivity, as discussed above, can also bring its share of challenges.
Whether it's the stress of meeting expectations or the emotional weight of family dynamics, it's essential to have strategies in place, ahead of time, to protect your mental well-being throughout the season. Here are some practical and effective ways to maintain a balanced mind during this festive period.
- Set Boundaries: Recognize personal limits and communicate them effectively. It's okay to say no and prioritize your own mental well-being.
- Practice Mindfulness: Engage in grounding activities, like prayer or meditation and deep breathing exercises. This helps in staying present and managing overwhelming emotions.
- Journal: Whether it’s maintaining a spirit of gratefulness by writing down your blessings every day, or jotting down how you’re feeling or what you’re struggling with, journaling can make a huge different.
- Stay Physically Active: Regular exercise is not just for physical health but also plays a pivotal role in improving mental well-being. A simple walk or a quick workout can make a difference.
- Limit Alcohol and Sugar: Overindulgence can lead to mood swings and feelings of guilt. This can also impact your physical well-being and make you feel more sluggish. Moderation is the key.
- Embrace New Traditions: Holidays are a time of traditions, but it's also an opportunity to establish new ones, particularly if the old ones no longer serve you. Create your own meaningful holiday customs that resonate with your values and circumstances.
During a time where feelings of stress, loneliness, or overwhelming emotions may be amplified, it's paramount to recognize the power of seeking external support. Reaching out for professional assistance or joining support groups can offer invaluable insights, coping mechanisms, and a safe space to express one's feelings.
Moreover, the community plays a fundamental role in fostering shared understanding. Being a part of a group or community can help individuals realize they are not alone in their struggles. Sharing experiences, listening to others, and feeling heard can create a sense of belonging and understanding, significantly mitigating the feelings of isolation.
If sharing your feelings in a group is no longer your thing, seeking 1:1 counseling is also an option. It’s no longer taboo to say you need help. Talking things through with a professional, with or without medication, can really improve your situation.
And if you are feeling uncomfortable about seeking therapy, there are many services that now offer virtual appointments from the privacy of your home so no one needs to know. Remember, it's a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek support when needed.
As the world continues to explore natural remedies for mental well-being, CBD (Cannabidiol) has taken center stage in the discourse on alleviating stress and promoting relaxation. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD is often touted for its potential properties, which may help in reducing stress, calming the nervous system, and fostering better sleep patterns.
However, like any supplement, it's essential to consider safety. Always consult with healthcare professionals before integrating CBD or any other supplement into your routine, ensuring that it doesn't interfere with medications.
Enter NextEvo Naturals, a beacon of trustworthiness in the vast sea of CBD providers. This brand offers a range of high-quality CBD products – from capsules and gummies to dissolvable powders and soothing topical creams. What sets them apart is their commitment to quality and innovation.
A standout product from their line is the NextEvo Naturals Stress CBD Complex.
Each serving boasts a potent combination of 15mg of CBD and 125mg of Ashwagandha. While CBD aims to soothe the mind, Ashwagandha, a revered ancient herb, complements it by combating stress and elevating energy. Together, they present a formidable duo, potentially offering enhanced relaxation and holistic wellness.
As the festive season unfolds, it's paramount to remember the importance of maintaining our mental health. While celebrations and gatherings can bring joy, they can also introduce stress and pressure, making it crucial to remain vigilant about our emotional well-being.
In the midst of the festive hustle and bustle, it's easy to lose sight of our needs. However, it's these very moments when self-care should take precedence. Be gentle with yourself, understanding that it's okay to take breaks and set boundaries. Each person's journey is unique, and what matters most is recognizing and honoring our individual needs.
So, as the festivities approach, let's make a conscious effort to prioritize our mental wellness, ensuring that we can truly enjoy the season and carry its positive spirit with us into the future.
Need help checking off that gift-giving list? We’ve got ideas! Check out our gift-giving guide.
- Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041. PMID: 30624194; PMCID: PMC6326553.
- Scherma M, Muntoni AL, Riedel G, Fratta W, Fadda P. Cannabinoids and their therapeutic applications in mental disorders . Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2020 Sep;22(3):271-279. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2020.22.3/pfadda. PMID: 33162770; PMCID: PMC7605020.