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Navigating Stress During the Holidays

As much excitement and connectedness as the holidays can bring, it can also add a lot of stress for you and in your relationships! Though it may seem that everyone around you looks forward to the season and time with loved ones, the holidays can actually be a difficult time for many. If you are struggling with increased stress, negative mood, and anxiousness during this time, remember that you are not alone.  

Some of the common challenges that people face during this time:

  •     Marital/relationship conflict
  •     Financial concerns
  •     Challenging family dynamics
  •     Substance use issues
  •     Career stress
  •     Seasonal depression
  •     Loneliness

With the right tools and support, you can navigate the holiday season. Below are some tips to keep in mind:

Prioritize self-care: Even though it may seem like there is so much to get done and prepare for, it is essential to make time to take care of yourself. That means that no matter how busy things might seem, we have to make time to do the things we like and that make us feel good! Whether that means watching your favorite TV show, planning a date night, or scheduling some time to participate in your favorite hobbies.

Set boundaries: Sometimes the holidays means spending time with difficult loved ones, or pressure to spend time with them. This does not mean that we need to forego our boundaries. Remember that it is okay to say no. No to making plans with family or friends who make you uncomfortable. No to those who do not respect your boundaries. It is also okay to leave early, or take a break, or make totally new plans this year.  

Set realistic expectations: With finances, with your relationships, and for others behavior. No one is immune to wishful thinking, particularly during the holidays. However, setting realistic expectations for yourself, within your relationships, and with what you can commit to can help set you up for success. 

Reach out for support: When we hear others talk about their holiday plans, it can be natural to feel lonely or disappointed. This is particularly true if you are having relationship difficulties or have challenging family dynamics. You are not alone. During this time, reach out to friends who feel like family, make plans that are outside of your comfort zone, and participate in activities with others (exercise classes, community groups, hobbies). Reflect on how you feel supported and ask others for what you need. Lastly, consider scheduling regular or more frequent with a therapist or a support group.

With all of the different challenges that you might face during this time, it is important that you have the right support. If you or a loved one are interested in receiving increased support during this time, please reach out and schedule an appointment with me at Shoreside Therapies.  We do are best to get you in within a week.  I am opening up my schedule to full-time in January 2022.  So now is the time to set up an appointment!

Contact Ali

Ali Devine, MS, LPC, SAC-IT

Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?

Ali Devine, MS, LPC, SAC-IT

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