The holidays are only a few days away and you may be feeling stress due to the obligations and endless series of things to get done. Although a joyful time once everything is said and done, the build up can bring about a lot of anxiety. One of the major sources of holiday stress is the complexity of family dynamics. Family dinners, traditions, who to invite, who not to invite, complicated relationships, and all manner of family drama can become quite overwhelming.
Being able to de-stress, calm yourself down, and re-center when you are facing these situations will allow you to take part in and actually enjoy this time of year with your family. In my Hermosa Beach therapy practice, I work with teens, adults, and families to enhance stress management skills and improve self-regulation in order to promote healthier and happier lives. Below I have put together a few of the tips I share with my clients on how to better prepare for and cope with stress and anxiety during the holidays.
Whether it’s the amount of gifts to buy or a difficult family member, it is helpful to find the source of what is making you feel stressed. Often times the way to start dealing with stress is to figure out what exactly is causing it so that you can deal with it directly and determine the best solution.
When you are in a stressful situation and you are starting to notice that you are becoming upset, it is crucial to have strategies in place for dealing with those moments when you are triggered. The following techniques have been helpful for many of my clients and may be useful to you too:
Having a plan for taking care of yourself is the most important part when it comes to dealing with stress and family around the holidays. Without checking in with yourself and maintaining your sense of well being, you may be ill-prepared to take on and enjoy the season. I have worked with many adults, young adults, teens, and couples to learn how to prepare for and cope with stress during the holidays and other life events. If you are in need of extra support, do not hesitate to contact me through phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you and happy holidays!