4 Ways to Get Your Needs Met Over the Holidays

As the temperature drops and the leaves start to fall, we may notice ourselves carrying added stress as we shift into the holiday season. This might include financial stress with holiday shopping, time management, dealing with difficult family members, and worries of weight gain. Creating structured time for your kids, checking in with your friends, and making time for yourself can certainly be an overwhelming feat.
As crucial as it is to be socially active, making and setting appropriate boundaries for your own time and space is a wellness necessity. If you struggle with self-advocacy and verbalizing your needs, learning and practicing assertive communication skills can help restore a sense of balance in your life.

If you are unable to see loved ones around this time, or are in need of boosting your social wellness, volunteering in your community is a great way to spend your time. Volunteering has shown several health and cognitive benefits: it serves as a social opportunity and can enhance interpersonal connections, provides the volunteer with a sense of purpose, and allows for an individual to engage in meaningful work.

Here are some ways in which you can keep any stress and anxieties at bay this holiday season:

  1. Pay attention and listen to your body: Are you having frequent headaches or body aches? Are you experiencing GI issues? These may be some signs to look for as bodily symptoms of stress.
  2. Maintain boundaries: Remember to respect the time of others as well as your own. It’s critical to communicate your needs effectively and respectfully to others.
  3. Learn your de-stressors: Everyone is different! Try to figure out what things or activities act as your own personal stress relievers or stress preventers. This could be reading, planning your day out in the morning so you have enough time to do all of the things you need to do, or journaling.

Try mindfulness: Mindfulness focuses on a non judgemental, non-reactive present awareness. This practice can ease stress and anxiety by cultivating awareness for the present moment. The wandering mind is very active and likes to plan for and think about moments beyond ‘now,’ but with practice and patience, you can reap the benefits of this amazing cultivation.