Making the Most out of the Holiday Season

By Sarah Spitz, LMSW

Holidays can be "the most wonderful time of year," but they also can come with a lot of stress and anxiety. Below are some tips so that you can make the most out of the holiday season.

Manage Expectations
Holidays can come with a lot of expectations of what they “should” be like.  Maybe you feel that you need to get and receive all of the perfect gifts, or you want everyone to get along and have the best time. However, many of this is out of our control.  So choose to focus on what is realistic and in your control. Instead of thinking of all the “what ifs” or “if onlys,” stay in the present moment and find joy in what is. If we go in without unrealistic expectations, we may be surprised by what unfolds. 

Set Boundaries
Holidays can be the time of year when we are reunited with family members and friends who we may usually prefer to keep some distance. Or even if we see them often and usually get along, the holidays may bring up feelings of stress and anxiety.  Be sure to set healthy boundaries with those individuals and with yourself. Recognize what topics and activities may be off limits with certain people, and remember that it is okay to have boundaries. And if you feel that tension is running high, it is okay to excuse yourself. 

Take Breaks
Both physically and mentally. During the next weekend and week you may be running around from party to party, traveling across the country and spending time with a lot of people, leaving you with very little time for yourself. If you find yourself feeling exhausted and run down, remember that there is nothing wrong with needing a break. Set aside time for yourself, whether it is to take a walk, a bubble bath, or cozy up with your favorite book.  If you prioritize self-care, you will ultimately have more to give to others. 

Sarah Spitz is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy.  If you would like support with managing stress and anxiety visit www.cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more how therapy can help.