While the holiday season can be one full of joy, it is often a time of the year when many people struggle to find a bit of peace in their hectic lives. If you struggle with anxiety, the upcoming holidays can cause so much stress that it is near impossible to enjoy the time spent with family and friends. To keep your stress level at a minimum, there are a number of coping strategies that can help you regulate your breathing and feel more in control of your emotions.
Learn Basic Deep Breathing Techniques
When you use deep breathing techniques correctly, your body has no choice but to calm down. When you feel yourself getting worked up, it's time to spend five minutes doing some deep breathing. If you can, find a quiet place to sit for a few minutes. Breathe to a count of five, hold that breath for two seconds, and then release the breath in another count of five. This is a simple technique, yet one that many people forget about when they are beginning to feel symptoms of stress.
Keep Your Expectations Low
You don't have to create a better light display than your neighbors. You certainly don't have to create all of these eye-catching snacks from Pinterest. If you lack creativity skills, there's no need to stress yourself out trying to be something you are not. A simple meal with family and friends, a few gifts exchanged, and you can have a wonderful holiday party without making your stress levels too high.
Stay on a Budget
The holidays are a wonderful time to buy gifts for family, friends, and your children. The problem is when January rolls around, you don't want to find yourself under a mountain of debt. If you set a budget for your holiday spending, you will do yourself a favor by sticking to it. You can't worry about the number of gifts under the tree, or whether you didn't spend enough money. Do your best to provide a reasonable amount of gifts for the holidays without blowing your budget.
Focus on Time Together
If you have a large family, you may feel the need to run around during the holidays to spend time with everyone on one particular day. Instead of splitting your time up all in one day, focus on spending special time with different groups throughout the holiday months. If you have a Christmas celebration with one group the first week of December, you can share your time with another family group on the actual day. When you set aside time to spend with a specific group of people, you will enjoy your time more than simply going from place to place all in one day.
Consider Acupuncture and Yoga
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that has been proven to reduce anxiety in those that suffer from it. Through the use of hair-thin needles, the acupuncturist stimulates certain areas of your body to bring your body to a state of balance. You don't have to understand why acupuncture works, only that it can help relieve anxiety symptoms. Yoga is a great exercise and will help you learn relaxation techniques that will help you get through stressful times.
Practice Self Care
As the holidays approach, remember to take good care of yourself and choose your commitments wisely. Try not to run around, and focus on the things that matter to you. Stick to a budget, and learn new coping skills for when you are feeling out of control. Focus on the time you are spending with your family and not on the material goods you can buy.