Holidays can be one of the more challenging times of year for people living in Jericho and elsewhere on Long Island. These months can be a source of stress, uncomfortable memories, and interpersonal challenges. This is coupled with shorter days and colder weather that can put people at higher risk for seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression which can exacerbate depression or feelings of stress and sadness.
There are many therapy-based techniques that you can use to help manage stress and sadness at this time of year while still getting to take part in any holiday experiences you want to enjoy.
How to Manage Stress During the Holidays
Different therapy techniques are effective for reducing the stress and anxiety you might feel all year long. During the holidays when stress and depression can be at an all time high, utilizing these strategies can help keep you relaxed and feeling your best during the season:
- Retain Healthy Behaviors – Keeping a routine of healthy behaviors, such as continuing to eat good foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising when you can, will keep you physically healthy. This impacts your mental health as well to reduce the chance that you will feel overwhelmed or upset.
- Practice Mindfulness – If you find yourself confronted by stress or unpleasant thoughts, taking a few moments for mindfulness can help you process and disengage from those thoughts. This puts you more in control of what you are thinking and feeling.
- Set Boundaries – Remain aware of your needs throughout the holiday season and set boundaries where you need to by declining any events or not spending time with people that cause you stress. When you are with family and friends, be conscious of taking time for yourself when you need it and exiting conversations that do not benefit you.
- Preparing for Triggers – The holidays can trigger grief and other negative feelings, such as if you have recently lost a loved one. Being aware of those triggers and knowing how you will handle them when they occur can leave you feeling more prepared going into the holidays.
- Planning for Therapy – Maintaining your regular therapy visits where possible is a great idea for the holidays. This will give you someone to talk and a chance to process any stress or depression feelings you may be dealing with.
Right Path Counseling is a team of therapists in Jericho. We are experienced in treating depression and anxiety, helping patients who are experiencing grief and loss, and dealing with many of the other challenges that often come up during the holidays. If you are looking for a therapist to help you cope this season, or want to start the new year off by prioritizing your mental health, contact Right Path