By Megan Trask, TULA Co-Founder + CEO
How to do the Holidays with Less Stress a.k.a Holiday Mental Health Hacks
We survived Halloween and the sugar hangover and now the very real slash anxiety-inducing reality of the “big” holidays being just around the corner is well, a bit stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few holiday mental health hacks to help ensure a more enjoyable holiday season is yours!
- Create space in your calendar. The invites are already coming in and as you RSVP be sure you also look at the days ahead and after to make sure this invitation won’t be THE invite that causes the meltdown of having too many places to be! Also, pro-tip: block out hours during the holiday season to just be at home, relaxing, resting, and recharging!
- Prioritize your holiday experience. Take a few moments to acknowledge what’s important to you during the holiday season. Is it family time? Planning the perfect meals? Entertaining? Creating new traditions or honoring old? Being present in the moments? Speaking of presents, is it making sure everyone on your list has the perfect gift? Whatever it is to you, make sure you acknowledge it and make decisions for the season through that lens. Take a moment in the moment to remind yourself what your priorities are so you can truly appreciate it...or change it if you’re not feeling the feels.
- Self-care for survival. Not only is creating space important, creating space with the specific intention of recharging is critical. This could be planning time for exercise or a walk. A change of scenery, fresh air, and movement do wonders for a reset in the stressful moments. Also, starting the day with exercise is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day. And no, this doesn’t have to be wearing a turkey on your head for an official Turkey Trot aka, my worst nightmare. Find a quiet place (I hear closets are great for this) to close your eyes and meditate. Use an app like Calm or Headspace if you need a little help. Taking moments to yourself during stressful times are just as important as moments with others.
- Be realistic. There is so.much.to.do… and you simply do not have to do it all to maximize your holiday celebrations. In fact, not doing it all will likely be the key to making the most of the holidays. See #2 above. Pick the three things you want to do most. Do those. Do what fits within your boundaries. Hint: this is actually a great time of year to set boundaries. Feel proud of what you accomplish and give yourself grace when you don’t get to everything. To borrow a line from a very famous Disney princess… “Let it Go”.
- Make a holiday playlist. And no, this definitely doesn’t have to be filled with actual holiday music. Sorry Mariah Carey fans :) Choose songs that remind you of an experience that brought joy and calm, songs that can transport you somewhere else even if just for a couple of minutes. Also, extra points for songs that make you smile and dance. I mean, if dancing in the kitchen after you realize you burned the rolls isn’t a good reset, I don’t know what is!
- Ask for help! It is okay to ask for help! People want to help! Whether a friend or family or… TULA! We’re all in this together!
Cheers to a lovely holiday season, whatever you celebrate, whenever you celebrate!