Stop the (holiday) madness

It happens every year: You vow to enjoy the holidays, spend quality time with your friends and family, and maybe even give back to your community. Then, little by little, your stress level increases. Family time becomes filled with anxiety. Holiday parties are another dreaded task on your to-do list. And all that shopping and entertaining causes worry over your budget.    

If you find yourself losing the holiday spirit this year, we recommend you stop, take a deep breath, and then follow these tips for getting back to your jolly self.

  • Take a time-out. Even a quick spin around the neighborhood to breathe in the fresh air and admire holiday displays can boost your mood. Try to find at least a few minutes every day for yourself — whether it's to enjoy a hot cup of tea, or listen to our guided imagery podcast.  

  • Learn to say, "no." If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's OK to skip a party or two. Or put off your volunteer work until the spring. Pick the events and efforts you truly want to be a part of, and let go of the guilt about sending your regrets to the others.

  • Sweat out the stress. It's easy to let exercise take a back burner during the holidays, but physical activity can work wonders on your outlook. Learn about the emotional benefits of working out and get ideas for activities that you'll enjoy.

  • Grab a pal. Sometimes, a good chat with a friend is all you need to get back on track. Or, how about gathering a group for a relaxing at-home spa event?

  • Stay organized. Fight that frazzled feeling by keeping your calendar up-to-date, organizing your space, and planning ahead.

And remember, if you feel overwhelmed or depressed for more than a couple weeks, it might be something more than a case of holiday stress. Speak with your physician or call Mental Health, Behavioral Health, or Member Services in your area to ask about resources that can help you. You can find those phone numbers online.

Also, check out the online health coaching program HealthMedia® Overcoming® Depression or our online mental health center for more information.

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