Do you ever feel blue during the holidays? If so, we’re here to tell you that it is absolutely normal, and you are not alone! There's a reason why there are so many sad Christmas songs.
The expectations about holidays are that everyone is supposed to be happy, merry and jolly, with a skip in their step. While this is true for some people, for many others, the holidays bring situations and activities that increase stress and anxiety for them, stress that can impact both physical and mental health.
A choking social calendar combined with work deadlines, travel arrangements, financial pressures, gift-giving, and family gatherings (with people that you may or may not want to be around) can have a draining effect on a person. Given all these factors, it's perfectly understandable why someone may not be gleeful during the festive season.
Are you starting to feel the holiday pressure? Check out our practical steps to help minimize the anxiety that comes with the holidays and maybe even put a little spring in your step too.
Create and stick to a budget
The 2015 Healthline survey also found that almost half of the respondents highlighted finances as the main cause of their anxiety and stress during this period.
Creating a budget and sticking to it is important during the holidays. A lot of impromptu activities are going to spring up, and these often come with some form of spending attached to them. Determine what you are comfortable spending over the holidays before the festive period is in full swing. If that next event or gift will take you over-budget, opt out!
Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits
With travel, events, and family obligations, life can get pretty hectic during the holiday season, and all those great healthy habits you've been working on can become harder to maintain. Exercising while traveling can be tough if you don't have access to your usual gym or aren't familiar with safe walking or running routes in a new location. And we know that holiday food and drinks aren't always the healthiest.
It could be a good time to try out an online equipment-free workout (like the ones we offer to our SentinelX members!) when you're on the go or just go extra hard on the dance floor. And when it comes to meal time, focus more on adding fresh fruits and veggies to your plate and less on restricting your diet or avoiding holiday treats altogether.
Remember that missing a few workouts won't derail your training and enjoying holiday delicacies with family and friends can be a form of self-care too!
During the holidays, so many events take place, and it's likely that you'll be invited to a lot more social activities than you might want to attend. Learning to say ‘No’ is a vital skill for your wellbeing and mental health.
We know it sounds harsh, but don't be afraid to politely decline any activity or invitation that may put you under excess physical or mental stress.
If you persistently feel anxious, irritable, stressed, and/or physically fatigued, chances are these aren't entirely holiday related. Talk to your primary care doctor and/or a mental health professional; it's ok to ask for help!
The holidays don’t have to be a time to dread. If you can learn to recognise your holiday triggers, whether financial pressures, social anxiety, or something else, you'll be in a much better position to control and prevent stress that can put a strain on your health. Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season!
SentinelX is a membership-based health practice that emphasizes preventive, personalized, and continuous care. We combine human touch with technology to make primary care cheaper, faster, and more accessible to enable you live your healthiest life.